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RFE/RL Reporter Fined For Covering Event In Belarus


Mikhal Karnevich

HRODNA, Belarus -- An RFE/RL correspondent has been fined after a court ruled that he had violated legislation on public gatherings in Belarus.

The Lenin District Court in the western city of Hrodna ruled on November 25 that Mikhal Karnevich must pay the equivalent of $205 as a fine for taking part in an unsanctioned mass gathering on October 26.

Karnevich contends that he was doing his job as a journalist that day, covering the public gathering in the southwestern town of Svislach -- a commemoration of Kastus Kalinovski, a 19th-century Belarusian journalist and political activist who led a popular movement against Russian rule.

Karnevich has been charged with violating legislation on public gatherings in the past.

In 2011, he was found guilty of taking part in an unsanctioned public protest in Hrodna and fined $100 after he covered the event as a journalist.