Henadz Mazheika

journalist, sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment

Former prisoner

Date of birth: 11 May 1982

Date of detention: 1 October 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 368 of the Criminal Code — Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred

Sentence: 3 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Date of release: 23 November 2023

Judge: Tatsiana Falkouskaya

Godparent: Lukas Mandl, member of the European Parliament

On the list of “terrorists” (money transfers are prohibited)

Henadz Mazheika is a journalist with the media Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi.

Mazheika was arrested in Moscow on October 1, 2021, in connection with an article he wrote for the above newspaper, in which people who knew the deceased Andrei Zeltser characterized him positively. Due to that article, the Ministry of Information blocked the media's website in Belarus on September 29, 2021.

At first, the journalist was charged under Part 1 of Article 130 ('Incitement of social hatred or enmity') and Article 369 ('Contempt of a public official') of the Criminal Code. Later, it became known that the last article was replaced by Part 1 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code (''Contempt of the President of Belarus').

In late December 2021, Henadz Mazheika was transferred from remand prison #8 in Žodzina to remand prison #1 in Minsk.

On December 1, 2022, the Minsk City Court started the trial of Mazheika's case. Judge Tatsiana Falkouskaya led the trial. The journalist pleaded not guilty.

As it became known, the journalist was charged with insulting Lukashenka. The indictment was based on a voice record made during a three-hour voters meeting with deputy Valery Varanetski in 2020. The Investigation Committee experts considered a male voice heard on the record was Mazheika's voice. The lawyer had a video of the meeting, proving that the journalist had not participated in the discussion. The phrase qualified as an insult to Lukashenka was said by another person.

The public prosecutor requested three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony for the journalist. On March 23, 2023, Judge Tatsiana Falkouskaya imposed that very punishment on the journalist. The case against Henadz Mazheika about insulting Lukashenka during the voters' meeting with the deputy was a separate criminal proceeding.

      On June 29, 2023, the KGB included the political prisoner in the "terrorist list".

      On June 30, 2023 the political prisoner was added to the "extremist list".

Henadz was released on November 23, 2023.

Journalists Semchanka and Mazheika sentenced to 3 years in prison for inciting enmity

On March 23, in separate hearings, Minsk Municipal Court sentenced Dzmitry Semchanka, a former All-national TV anchor, and Komsomolskaya Pravda correspondent Henadz Mazheika to three years in prison for "inciting enmity" against public officials.

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