Political prisoner Kanstantsin Zalatykh sentenced to 4 years in penal colony

Kanstantsin Zalatykh / Archive photo
Kanstantsin Zalatykh / Archive photo

On April 6, the director of the newspaper "Belorusy i Rynok" Kanstantsin Zalatykh was sentenced to 4 years in a penal colony. Since March, the case of the political prisoner has been considered behind closed doors by the Minsk City Court (Judge Alena Shylko). He was found guilty of "incitement to hatred," "insulting Lukashenka," "insulting a representative of the authorities," and "exceeding power or official authority."

Zalatykh was arrested on May 18, 2022, after a search of the newspaper's offices. At first he was held in the Zhodzina pre-trial detention center, and since the beginning of August 2022 in the pre-trial detention center-1 on Valadarsky street in Minsk. The investigation alleges that the media manager violated the law when, without holding a general meeting of shareholders, he made changes to the charter of CJSC Mediarynok, excluding two foreign citizens from the list of founders, and then registered a new charter. In addition, there are several episodes in the case with the posting of comments in social networks affecting officials and Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

Last June, human rights activists recognized Kanstantsin Zalatykh as a political prisoner.

In December 2022, the newspaper Belorusy i Rynok, one of the last independent publications in Belarus, ceased publication after 32 years of operation.

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