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Belarusian journalist Katerina Borisevich released from prison

Source: Tut.by

Belarusian journalist Katerina Borisevich (Katsiaryna Barysevich), who was imprisoned for divulging confidential medical information about the death of opposition activist Raman Bandarenka, was released from custody on the morning of May 19.

The Tut.by journalist served her sentenced in a penal colony in Gomel.

Borisevich was arrested in November 2020. The criminal case against her was launched over an article she authored, which referenced medical documents confirming that Bandarenka — who died in a Minsk emergency hospital from severe injuries sustained during an altercation over opposition symbols — had a blood alcohol level of zero when he was admitted. Borisevich’s reporting contradicted allegations from Belarusian officials that Bandarenka was drunk.

On March 2, a Minsk court sentenced Borisevich to six months in prison and $1,150 in fines. She was released from custody on May 19, taking into account time already served.

The other defendant in the case was emergency doctor Artem Sorokin (Artsiom Sorokin), who was on duty on the night of Bandarenka’s hospitalization. He was also found guilty of divulging confidential media information. The court sentenced to two years in prison with a one-year reprieve and a $575 fine. The doctor was released in the courtroom on his own recognizance.

On May 18, the Belarusian State Control Committee announced the launch of a criminal case for large-scale tax evasion against the leadership of Tut.by, Belarus’s most prominent independent media outlet. Financial police searched the homes and offices of the publication’s journalists and at least 13 Tut.by employees were detained. The authorities also blocked Tut.by’s website. 

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