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Belarusian Journalists Face Trial Amid Crackdown On Postelection Protests

Rogue Valley

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Belarusian Journalists Face Trial Amid Crackdown On Postelection Protests

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9/4/20
MINSK -- Six Belarusian journalists who were detained earlier this week while covering an anti-government protest are set to go on trial in Minsk as the authorities continue their crackdown on dissent following a disputed election that gave President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth-straight term. The journalists were covering a student rally demanding the resignation of Lukashenka on September 1 when they were detained by police near the Dinamo district stadium. They have since remained in pretrial detention in the capital. If convicted of participating in an illegal rally, the journalists could face a fine or up to 15 days of administrative arrest. The reporters are working for the Belarusian independent news website Tut.by; the local Komosomolskaya pravda v Belarusi daily, and the independent news agency BelaPAN. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets across Belarus to protest the "rigged" results of the August 9 vote. The protesters are calling on the 66-year-old Belarusian leader to step down after 26 years in power, release all political prisoners, and hold free and fair elections. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets across Belarus to protest the "rigged" results of the August 9 vote. The protesters are calling on the 66-year-old Belarusian leader to step down after 26 years in power, release all political prisoners, and hold free and fair elections.

The remand prisons, where the journalists and others in pre-trial detention are housed, are usually among the worst of the Russia/Belarus prison systems. Abuse and torture are commonplace.

The real victor of the August 9 Belarus election, reformer Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, will address the UN Security Council today.
 
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