On November 19, the Prosecutor General’s office opened a criminal case against a TUT.BY journalist, Katsiaryna Barysevich, and Artsiom Sorokin, a doctor, who spoke up about Raman Bandarenka, a protest activist beaten to death in November in Minsk, allegedly by plainclothes police officers. After his killing sparked nationwide protests, Belarus’ chief investigative agency claimed the police had found Bandarenka drunk and already beaten. Medical documents leaked to TUT.BY, a major independent news outlet, proved he had not been intoxicated, and videos shot the day of Bandarenka’s killing showed men chasing and beating Bandarenka and bundling him into a van.
On November 29, Barysevich and Sorokin were indicted for “breaching medical confidentiality that led to grave consequences.”
Bandarenka’s sister said that during the trial, which was closed, relatives testified that they had given Barysevich permission to publish the medical data. But on March 2, the Moscow District Court sentenced Barysevich to six months in prison and a fine and handed Sorokin a two-year suspended sentence and a fine. Continue