BelaPAN Journalists Go On Trial

BelaPAN journalists have gone on trial after being arrested and detained in 2021 for alleged treason and other charges.

BelaPAN’s former director, Dzmitry Navazhylau; his former deputy, Andrey Alyaksandrau; Editor In Chief Iryna Leushyna; and reporter Iryna Zlobina have begun attending their trials.

Navazhylau and Alyaksandrau are charged with tax evasion and the creation of an extremist group, Zlobina for high treason and the organization of illegal rallies, while Leushyna for creating an extremist group.

All the BelaPAN journalists that stood at the trial denied the charges and maintained their innocence since they were arrested. 

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported that the journalists could face up to 15 years in prison.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday that the Belarusian government should drop the charges against the BelaPAN journalists and release them.

“These journalists are being tried on trumped-up charges for daring to do their jobs and cover crucial events such as the 2020 protests demanding the resignation of President Aleksandr Lukashenko,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.

© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.