Belarus jails two TV journalists for filming mass protest

Katerina Bakhvalova
Katerina Bakhvalova gave a victory sign in court, next to Daria Chultsova (Image: EPA)

A Belarus court has jailed two TV journalists for two years on charges of fomenting protests, for filming a rally against the country’s leader.

Katerina Bakhvalova, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, were arrested in a Minsk apartment block in November while live-streaming an unauthorised protest.

They are with Poland-based Belsat TV.

Mass protests took place across Belarus after Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a presidential election in August widely condemned as rigged.

Belsat TV rejected the accusation that by broadcasting footage of the demonstration the two journalists had disrupted bus services in the Belarusian capital.

Mr Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and on Wednesday a man once seen as his main challenger went on trial.

Former banker Viktor Babaryko was barred from standing in the election and arrested in June. He is accused of taking bribes and money-laundering when he was head of Belgazprombank.


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