Hrodna: Belsat TV contributor fined for reposting videos of protests

Hrodna-based musician and journalist Ales Dzyanisau has been found guilty of possessing and distributing ‘extremist’ materials (Art.17.11 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).

Ales Dzyanisau and his friends before trial, photo by Vasil Malchanau, Belsat

In March 2017, Dzyanisau reposted two videos from Belarusian anarchists’ web community to his own Vkontakte social network page. The videos featured anarchists’ participating in ‘non-parasite’ protests in Belarus in the spring of 2017.

Interestingly, judge Valery Shpak tried to find faults with reporters who were recording the trial saying they were distracting his attention.

Ales Dzyanisau in court, photo by Vasil Malchanau, Belsat

As a result, Dzyanisau got a fine of 613.5 Belarusian rubles (appr. $300). The freelancer has not admitted his guilt.

In early October, a policeman who failed to introduce himself contacted the under-age daughter of Ales Dzyanisau and informed her of a criminal case which had allegedly been opened against him. The unknown police officer talked tough and intimidated the girl who is still in shock after the conversation.

“In my opinion, such behavior of a law enforcement officer is nothing but an attempt to exert psychological pressure on my family and me and to disturb our peace. Apparently, they are set to prevent me from performing my activity as a musician of DZIECIUKI musical band,” the freelancer said.

Photo by Vasil Malchanau, Belsat

In July, the police conducted searches at Belsat TV contributors Alyaksandr Dzyanisau and Alyaksei Kairys. They were detained by people in civilian clothes in the afternoon and spent 2,5 hours in the police precinct. Then the police went to conduct searches in their homes. Law enforcers seized 3 computers, phones, hard drive and flash drives. The search was carried out as part of the investigation into two cases — work without accreditation and insult. Probably, it is about the insulting the head of the service station of Leninsky district of Hrodna, Svyatlana Zhylinskaya, who was mentioned in the story of Belsat published in April, 2018.