World Two Belarusian journalists sentenced to two years in prison for protest coverage
Detained Americans Fast Facts
Read CNN's Fast Facts about recent cases of foreign governments detaining US citizens. For information about missing Americans, see Robert Levinson Fast Facts or POW/MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan Fast Facts. © CNN Kenneth Bae spoke to CNN's Will Ripley on September 1, 2014. Currently Detained AmericansChina Kai Li September 2016 - Kai Li, a naturalised US citizen born in China, is detained while visiting relatives in Shanghai.July 2018 - He is sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage following a secret trial held in August 2017.
Two journalists inhave been sentenced to following their coverage of political in the nation.
Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, journalists for the Polish-funded Belsat TV channel, were convicted on Thursday after being charged with "organizing actions rudely violating public order," charges which they deny.
The pair were arrested in November. The police broke down their door while they were doing live-stream coverage of a protest in the nation's capital. Belsat reports that they were accused ofby talking about the demonstration on-air.
TV journalists face three years in prison for reporting on Belarus protests
TV journalists face three years in prison for reporting on Belarus protestsYekaterina Andreeva and Darya Chultsova, a reporter and a camerawoman for Belsat, were arrested in November after a demonstration.
"I have everything: youth, a job that I love, prominence and, most importantly, a clear conscience. I want to devote all my energy to the creation of Belarus without political repression. I demand an acquittal for myself, for my colleagues and for hundreds of political prisoners," Bakhvalava said during a Wednesday court hearing, according to local media.
The U.S. Embassy in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, condemned the sentencing in aand on Twitter.
"The United States Embassy condemns today's politically motivated conviction of two Belsat journalists and the outrageous conviction for informing the public," they said. "This judicial action adds to the evidence that the authorities’ objective is not one of justice but rather an attempt to silence the media and limit the Belarusian people’s access to information in order to further political aims."
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Russian political figure Alexei Navalny's supporters say he was jailed for the crime of daring to survive Vladimir Putin's efforts to poison him."Putin is turning his main threat into a martyr, a kind of Russian Nelson Mandela," said Jaka Bizilj, the director of the Berlin-based humanitarian group Cinema for Peace Foundation, referring to South Africa's anti-apartheid hero and former president.
"The United States again calls upon the Belarusian authorities to cease the persecution and prosecution of journalists and media outlets for covering the news," the statement continued.
Заява Амбасады ЗША
"Амбасада Злучаных Штатаў асуджае сённяшняе палітычна матываванае прызнанне вінаватымі дзвюхжурналістак Белсата і абуральны прысуд у іх дачыненні за працу па інфармаванні грамадства."— U.S. Embassy Minsk (@USEmbBy)
According to themore than 400 journalists have been detained in Belarus in the last six months, with at least 10 remaining in custody facing criminal charges.
Belarus has seen manysince August, when it was announced that President Alexander Lukashenko had been elected to serve a sixth term. Independent observers say the election was rigged in his favor.
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© Babuskinsky District Court Press Service via AP Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny accused of violating the terms of a 2014 suspended sentence for embezzlement, is held in a glass cell during a court hearing in Moscow on February 16, 2021. Russian opponent Alexei Navalny will appear twice in court, Saturday February 20 , for violation of its judicial review and defamation.