Accessibility links

Breaking News

Court Fines RFE/RL Reporter Who Was Covering Belarus Protest

Correspondent Halina Abakunchyk (left) of RFE/RL's Belarus Service
Correspondent Halina Abakunchyk (left) of RFE/RL's Belarus Service

VORSHA, Belarus -- A correspondent for RFE/RL's Belarus Service, Halina Abakunchyk, has been fined by a court that found her guilty of taking part in an unsanctioned demonstration.

The court in the eastern Belarusian city of Vorsha on March 13 fined Abakunchyk about $300.

Abakunchyk pleaded not guilty and insisted she was arrested on March 12 while reporting on a demonstration march against taxing the unemployed.

Abakunchyk said police forcibly detained her without letting her show her press card, holding her several hours at a police station even after she told them she was working a journalist.

Several journalists were detained along with activists and opposition leaders in Vorsha on March 12 during the protest against what Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka describes as a tax on "social parasites."

Protesters want the tax law scrapped and have continued demonstrations despite a March 9 order from Lukashenka that suspended implementation of the tax until 2018.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.