Belarus: journalist Ales Lubyanchuk sentenced to 3 years in prison
The Minsk City Court has found journalist Ales Lubyanchuk guilty of allegedly founding or participating in an extremist group. The journalist was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) demand his immediate release.
The EFJ joins its affiliate BAJ in denouncing the sentence against Ales Lubyanchuk. BAJ considers the verdict by Judge Alena Ananich as a revenge for his years of professional commitment. The EFJ and BAJ demand that Ales and other media representatives imprisoned for political reasons are released.
“We once again call on international organisations to step up the pressure on the regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko. This indiscriminate repression must stop”, said EFJ President Maja Sever.
According to BAJ monitoring, there are 31 journalists behind bars in Belarus. And more than 400 journalists have been forced to leave their country as a result of repression by the authorities.
On 26 May 2022, Ales Lubyanchuk was arrested in the village of Kryvichy, in the Yueuski district, where he had recently moved. In 2020, Ales Lubyanchuk was detained several times just for doing his job.