Crisis In Belarus
Belarusian Journalists Go On Trial, Charged With Organizing Anti-Government Protests
Two journalists for the Polish-funded Belsat satellite television station have gone on trial in Minsk. They are charged with "organizing public events aimed at disrupting civil order." Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova were arrested on November 15 while they were covering a rally in Minsk commemorating anti-government protester Raman Bandarenka, who died from injuries sustained in a beating by a group of masked assailants. Rights activists allege the attackers were affiliated with the government of authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka. As the trial started on February 9, the two journalists said that they were just doing their jobs when they were arrested. If found guilty, the two women face up to three years in prison.