Editor-in-chief and director of a Belarusian news website imprisoned for 12 years | outside

According to the NGO Viasna, editor-in-chief Marina Zolotova (45) and general director Ludmila Chekina (54) were found guilty after a closed-door trial that lasted more than two months.

“The verdict against our colleagues is a cruel form of revenge for telling the truth to Belarus with Tut.by,” the Belarusian Association of Journalists said in a statement.

Marina Zolotova and Lyudmila Chaykina have been accused of tax evasion and inciting hatred, among other things, “ridiculous” accusations according to the NGO Reporters Without Borders.

The two women were seated in a glass case for the defendants at the sentencing, according to photos from state agency Belta. They were arrested in May 2021 and have been behind bars ever since.
Two journalists and a lawyer from Tutankhamun who fled Belarus are being tried separately.

Friday’s rulings are emblematic of Lukashenko’s harsh crackdown on any criticism of his rule since it was rocked by a major protest movement in 2020. For weeks, Tut.by covered the protests, which brought tens of thousands of people to the streets of Minsk and other cities to denounce Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election. Disputed, who has been in power for three decades.

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Denton Watson

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