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Radio Svaboda reporter gets BYN575 fine in Orsha

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Photo: svaboda.org

Radio Svaboda Halina Abakumchyk received a fine of BYN 575 ($290) for taking part in an unauthorized street action - the event she was assigned to cover as a journalist. 

The verdict was pronounced on Monday by Orsha District Court judge Mikhail Drahunou. During the hearing, he read a police statement, which said that Abakunchyk had allegedly refused to name herself during detention. The journalist stated nobody asked to introduce herself. Instead, she was forcefully grabbed and taken to a police van.

Abakunchyk said during the hearing she did not plead guilty because she was on an editorial assignment covering the protest in Orsha. She stressed she told the riot police officers that she was a journalist but was not even allowed to show her press ID. The journalist added the police took her phone when at the police station. She was held for several hours without explanations while the officers refused to inroduce themselves.