19 January 2018, Friday, 14:18

Zhanna Litvina: No political decision on Poczobut


It is the reason why investigation over journalist's case has been extended, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) thinks.

“The fact that investigation of Andrzej Poczobut's case has been extended today can be explained only in one way: there is no political decision on him. It is a high-profile case that received publicity abroad. We can suppose that the authorities don't want to aggravate the situation and draw attention to human rights problems in our country amid timid attempts to have a dialogue on Belarus's modernisation,” Zhanna Litvina, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, said in an interview with charter97.org.

According to the BAJ head, Andrzej Poczobut is intentionally kept in suspense:

“The other matter is that investigation could have been extended for six months. But they keep Andrzej in suspense extending it only for a month. It means it may be solved soon, but there's no political decision so far. We again hear that an additional analysis of his texts is needed.”

Zhanna Litvina finds it difficult to comment on Anton Surapin's situation:

“It's hard to speak about it when there's no information. Unfortunately, neither public nor journalists have information on his case. The position of the Belarusian Association of Journalists is that both criminal cases should be closed immediately and charges against Andrzej Poczobut and Anton Surapin should be dropped.”

It should be reminded that the criminal case against Gazeta Wyborcza correspondent Andrzej Poczobut for “libel against Lukashenka” has been extended for a month today.

Anton Surapin was arrested on July 13, 2012, and accused of helping to cross the border illegal. His “guilt” was that he posted photos of teddy bears dropped from a Swedish plane on his website. He was released a month later on his own recognizance. The journalist is still under investigation.