The political prisoner sent a message through her lawyer.
Belsat journalist Katsiaryna Andreyeva, who had been behind bars since November 15, commented on the propagandist news piece on STV TV channel by Ryhor Azaronak, in which he accused the journalist that she allegedly led the protests by her live streams, Belsat reports.
Andreyeva's lawyer Siarhei Zikratski intends to file complaints against Azaronak to the Interior Ministry, prosecutor's office, Investigatory Committee, and the Ministry of Information. According to him, the program on STV clearly violated the presumption of innocence with regard to Katsiaryna Andreyeva. It is also possible to claim violation of the secrecy of investigation, as Azaronak used fragments of private correspondence of Katsiaryna’s husband Ihar Illyash in his plot.
Katsiaryna also asked her lawyer to pass a message from her, as a response to Ryhor Azaronak:
“I feel pity for the poor boy who’s made the wrong choice. I can’t help sympathizing him. Because I will be out of prison sooner or later, and he will have to bear this burden for the rest of his life. My condolences, Ryhor Azaronak.”
On January 13, the STV TV channel aired a program authored by Ryhor Azaronak “Secret Springs of Politics”, in which he accused Katsiaryna Andreyeva that she allegedly led the protest action in Minsk on November 15, 2020, by her live stream. Azaronak claimed that Katsiaryna coordinated “mass riots” live (by mass riots he means a peaceful protest action in the Square of Changes), and “inspired the rioteers” by personal example. The propagandist called Katsiaryna “a clear criminal”, “foreign agent”, like those “Spies Must Die dealt with during the war”.
Also, screenshots of personal correspondence of Katsiaryna’s husband Ihar Illyash were used in the program on STV.
On January 15, Ihar Illyash sent a claim to the police and the prosecutor’s office, asking to conduct a check and start a criminal case against Azaronak under Article 203 of the Criminal Code (“violation of the secrecy of correspondence”).
Illyash demands the law-enforcement agencies must clarify how Azaronak obtained the screenshots of a personal correspondence. If those were received from the law-enforcers, who arrested Illyash’s computer equipment in the framework of the criminal case against Katsiaryna Andreyeva, then the law-enforcers should be held liable for divulging results of preliminary investigation (Part 2 of Article 407), as Illyash’s computer and phones had been previously referred to as material evidence. If the law-enforcers didn’t give these screenshots to Azaronak, then the propagandist could get access to them only if he hacked the Facebook account, which can be qualified in accordance with Article 349 of the Criminal Code (“unsanctioned access to computer information”), the claim reads.
Belsat journalists Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova have been held behind bars since November 15 - they were detained for a live stream showing the brutal dispersal of the action of honouring the memory of Raman Bandarenka, and the demolition of the people’s memorial by the security forces. Katsiaryna and Darya have been officially charged under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (“organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order”). Human rights defenders have recognized both journalists as political prisoners.
A week ago, the case materials were transferred to the Frunzenski district court of Minsk. So far, Katsiaryna and Darya remain in the pre-trial detention center in Zhodzina.
On January 18, it became known that the term in custody for Katsiaryna Andreyeva was prolonged till February 20.