Opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich was sentenced by a court in Minsk to eight years in prison. In the past, he was a co-editor of the Nexta channel, which the Belarusian authorities considered “extremist” – in 2022, the website was classified as a “terrorist organization”, and Pratasiewicz was described as a “terrorist”.
The judgments on the editors of the Nexta channel were issued by a court in Minsk. Raman Pratasiewicz was sentenced to eight years in prisontwo editors Sciapan Puciła and Jan Rudzik were sentenced in absentia to 20 and 19 years in prison.
Only Pratasiewicz physically participated in the trial. The others are outside Belarus and were tried in absentia as part of “extraordinary proceedings”.
Journalists have been convicted of at least 1,586 crimes, state news agency BelTA reported. The allegations concerned, among others, organizing mass riotspreparing actions that violate public order, calling for sanctions against Belarus, forming or leading an extremist group and conspiracy to seize power.
The circumstances of the journalist’s arrest caused an international outcry
Raman Pratasiewicz is a former co-editor of the opposition channel Nexta. The Belarusian authorities considered him “extremist” – in 2022, the website was classified as a “terrorist organization”, and Pratasiewicz was described as a “terrorist”.
Before the verdict, the detained former co-editor of Nexty criticized former colleagues from opposition circles. Before the trial, he said that he “fully admits his guilt.”
SEE: Arrest of Pratasiewicz. ICAO has adopted a report on the forced landing of Ryanair aircraft
Circumstances of arrest Raman Pratasiewicz in May 2021 caused an international outcry and caused by European Union sanctions to Alyaksandr Lukashenko.
The opposition journalist was flying from Greece to Lithuania when Belarusian air traffic control directed the plane to Minsk airport based on a false bomb alert. Raman Pratasiewicz was arrested and detained along with his girlfriend.