Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Belarus22 February 2008

Weekly paper editor freed

Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release from prison of the former editor of the weekly paper Zhoda, Alyaksandr Zdvizhkou, after the Belarusian supreme court today cut his three-year prison sentence to three months. He had been detained since last 18 November. The organisation said both sentences and his imprisonment were “totally unjust.”

A court in Minsk gave him the three-year sentence on 18 January to be served in a harsh prison for incitement to racial and religious hatred by reprinting cartoons of the prophet Mohamed in the 18-26 January 2006 issue of the paper. The case was brought by the secret police in February after a complaint by the national Association of Muslims and the trial was behind closed doors. The supreme court ordered the paper to be shut down the following month.

The supreme court’s latest decision was officially because Zdvizhkou has eye problems and needs to look after his old mother. He had been transferred to a prison hospital earlier this week.

He had gone to live abroad in 2006 and was arrested last November when he returned to visit his father’s grave in Barysau, near Minsk. He said the charges against him were “politically motivated.” Zhoda supported opposition candidate Alyaksandr Kazulin in the March 2006 presidential elections.

  In this country
6 March - Belarus
Call for end to unofficial ban on foreign journalists
26 February - Belarus
Judge orders two issues of cultural magazine seized and destroyed
29 January - Belarus
In show of bad faith, government again refuses to issue press accreditation to Radio Racyja journalists
27 November - Belarus
Amid signs of tentative liberalisation, government urged to do more and to resist temptation to control Internet
26 September - Belarus
Media coverage of election campaign ignores political debates and opposition

in the annual report
Belarus - Annual Report 2008
Belarus - Annual report 2007
Belarus - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives