Belarusian journalist Andrzej Poczobut could face a seven year sentence


Andrzej Poczobut, the Belarusian Polish journalist and Gazeta Wyborcza correspondent has been held in custody since last Friday. He is being held in solitary confinement and although the prospects are not good, he Is reading a great deal and doing exercises.  Andrzej Poczobut  spent 3 months in prison in 2011 accusing of defaming Alexander Lukashenko. The charge this time is the same, but now entails a stiffer sentence since it now counts as a repeat “offence”.  

He has told his wife Oksana who visited him on Tuesday that the authorities are preparing a harsh sentence.  The charge of slandering Lukashenko, when this is treated as a repeat offence, could, the journalist believes, be added to the 3 year suspended sentence he received last July.

He is being held alone in a cell designed for four people. He and his wife assume that the authorities want to isolate him from contact with the world.

Andrzej Pocobut had spent three months in prison when he received a three-year suspended sentence last July.  He was released and continued honestly and unwaveringly covering the situation in Belarus.  His reports on the trial and execution of the two young men accused of the Minsk bombing, on the arrests and persecution of Ales Bialiatski and other Belarusian civic activists have been vital in providing truthful information about what is happening in the country.

Andrzej Poczobut is 39, married with two children – a daughter of 12, and a son who was just one year old when his father was arrested last year. 

New information from the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza

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