Saturday 15 may 2021
Tortured in custody
DW reporter convicted in Belarus
A few days ago, reporter Alexander Burakov waited in front of a courthouse to report on a lawsuit against opposition politicians. But instead of being able to do his job, he is arrested himself. Their own faith is not long in coming.
A reporter from Deutsche Vale in Belarus has been sentenced to 20 days in jail. The broadcaster said Alexander Burakov wanted to report on a lawsuit against opposition politicians who were accused of participating in “mass unrest”.
Accordingly, the freelance journalist for DW was arrested on Wednesday in the city of Mogilev, east of the capital Minsk, while he was waiting in front of the court with other media representatives. According to the broadcaster, a court ruled that Burakov was guilty of “re-participating in an unauthorized incident”. He was sentenced to ten days in jail last year.
Deutsche Vale sharply criticized the process. Classifying a group of journalists as a “prohibited gathering” in front of a court is another step taken by the “regime” of ruler Alexander Lukashenko to suppress critical media reports. Artistic director Peter Limberg said: “We call on authorities in Belarus to immediately overturn the sentence.”
According to the broadcaster, the journalist went on hunger strike in protest against his arrest on 13 May. He reported in court the torture and inhuman behavior in the pre-trial detention. He got up again and again in the night and the guards forced him naked.
According to the Vesna human rights group, two other journalists were sentenced to several days in jail on Saturday. Since the protests against Lukashenko last summer, authorities have repeatedly taken action against the media. Several prison terms were imposed. Following the presidential election, which was widely regarded as false, hundreds of thousands of people sometimes called for Lukashenko’s resignation and new elections.
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