11.04.2011 09:32

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton 10 made a statement on April expressing deep concern over the detention of Belarusian journalist of Polish publication Gazeta Wyborcza, Andrzej Poczobut. "This is another example of ongoing human rights violations, committed by the authorities in Belarus after the presidential elections," she said.

«The European Union strongly condemns all persecution, arrests and intimidation by the Belarusian independent media, as well as violations of fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of the media. The EU urges the Belarusian authorities to immediately stop the persecution of independent journalists for libel or other politically motivated charges. The EU also calls upon the Belarusian authorities to fully cooperate with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media,» said Catherine Ashton.

As Telegraf previously reported, criminal proceedings were instituted against Andrzej Poczobut for publication in Gazecie Wyborczej and his blog on suspicion of insulting the president. Journalists has been repeatedly detained after the events of December 19, the last time — on April 6 on his way to Minsk for participation in the conference with MEPs.

Poczobut has got his measure of restraint changed into the arrest; he was put in jail in Hrodna prison № 1. Correspondent of Gazety Wyborczej was kept in custody for two more months, reported the Belarusian service of Radio «Liberty.» The lawyer of journalist Alexander Birilov said that Andrzej Poczobut was likely to be kept under arrest pending trial.

The journalist is charged with «insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus» (Part 1 of Art. 368 of the Criminal Code) and «Defamation of the President of the Republic of Belarus» (Part 1 of Art. 367 CC). Andrzej Poczobut faces imprisonment for up to four years.

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