Iryna Leushyna

director of BelaPAN news agency, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment


Date of birth: 29 November 1965

Date of detention: 18 August 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it

Sentence: 4 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Judge: Viachaslau Tuleika

Prison: Penal colony No. 4

Godparent: Merle Spellerberg, Member of the German Bundestag

Iryna Leushyna is director of the BelaPAN news agency.

Leushyna was arested on August 18, 2021, after security officers searched her home and BelaPAN's office in Minsk.

Iryna was detained for 72 hours under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organization or preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or participation in them).

10 days after the arrest, Leushyna was transferred to pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Minsk.

In early September, Leushyna was officially charged under Part 2 of Art. 243 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion entailing large-scale damage).

In November, Leushyna faced new charges of “creating an extremist formation”. 

On October 6, 2022, the Minsk Regional Court pronounced the verdicts on the high-profile BelaPAN case—four political prisoners were sentenced to harsh jail sentences and large fines. Judge Viachaslau Tuleika sentenced Leushyna to four years of imprisonment. She was found guilty of ‘creating an extremist formation and leading it’ (Part 1 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code).

On January 6, 2023, the Supreme Court considered the appeal of the defendants in the BelaPAN case. The verdicts were upheld, and only some wording was slightly changed.

Media workers in BelaPAN case sentenced to up to 14 years in jail

Judge Viachaslau Tuleika sentenced journalist and media manager Andrei Aliaksandrau to 14 years' imprisonment, sociologist and activist Irina Zlobina—to nine years, editor-in-chief and BelaPAN director Iryna Leushyna—to four years, and former agency director Dzmitry Navazhylau—to six years.




Mail address: Penal colony No. 4. 246035, Homieĺ, vulica Antoshkina 3

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