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Demonstration in support of a journalist jailed in Belarus

A demonstration in support of Iryna Slaunikava, a Belarusian journalist working for Polish public broadcaster TVP, who has been jailed by the Belarusian regime and is currently on trial, took place on Tuesday outside The European Commission Representation in Poland, Warsaw.

TVP journalist tried behind closed doors in Belarus

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The demonstration started at 3 pm local time. The demonstrators handed a petition to the European Commission’s representatives regarding Slaunikava and other jailed journalists, demanding the EC takes steps to support freedom of speech in Belarus by sanctioning individuals working for the Belarusian judiciary who are responsible for cracking down on independent journalists and media.

The trial is being conducted behind closed doors since, according to Slaunikava’s lawyer, the body of evidence is so flimsy that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime cannot sentence her publicly without making a complete embarrassment of itself.

According to unofficial sources, the sentence may be passed on Wednesday, August 3. She is facing up to 4 years in prison. Slaunikava has been charged with belonging to an organisation that “blatantly violates public order”. Such accusations are a typical way in which Lukashenka’s regime fights against freedom of speech in Belarus.

“Hundreds of journalists have been forced to emigrate, and many of those who have decided to remain in the country, have been put behind bars,” said the organisers of the demonstration. “Among them are former employees and contributors working for the [Polish] public broadcaster TVP SA and its subsidiary, the only independent television channel broadcasting in Belarusian, Belsat.”

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