Andrzej Poczobut nominated for Zeit Prize
14:36, — Freedom of speech
The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) nominated Andrzej Poczobut for the Zeit Foundation Prize.
The journalist was detained during dispersal of a peaceful rally against the rigged results of the presidential elections on December 19, 2010. A criminal case was later opened against him for alleged libel against Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Narodnaya Volya newspaper reminds.
BAJ deputy head Andrei Bastunets said: “Three criminal cases against journalists are being investigated in Belarus. These are cases against Poczobut, Anton Surapin and Mikalai Petrushenka. Poczobut's case is the most difficult of them. The worst thing is possible. The journalist, who already has a three-year suspended sentence, may be sentenced to a real prison term in addition to a sentence in the new criminal case.”
The lawyer thinks Poczobut's case is a matter of principle for the authorities. For example, the recent law on the amnesty didn't cover the people convicted under article 367 (libel against Lukashenka). “Poczobut is the only person convicted in connection with this article. They seem to have meant him in the law,” Bastunets stresses.