Yahor Martsinovich

editor-in-chief at Nasha Niva, sentenced to 2 1/2 years

Former prisoner

Date of birth: 3 September 1988

Date of detention: 8 July 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 216 of the Criminal Code - Infliction of property damage without signs of theft

Sentence: 2 1/2 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Date of release: 18 August 2023

Judge: Anzhela Kastsiukevich

Prosecutor: Mikalai Dziatsel

Godparent: Andreas Audretsch, a member of the German Bundestag for Alliance 90/The Greens

Yahor Martsinovich is the editor-in-chief of Nasha Niva newspaper. He has been working at Nasha Niva since 2009.

He was detained on July 8, 2021, initially for 72 hours on suspicion of committing a crime under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (group actions grossly disrupting public order). However, after three days, he was not released.

During the interrogation in the Investigative Committee, an ambulance was called to see him. According to Nasha Niva, Martsinovich was beaten during the detention.

On July 28, 2021, Yahor Martsinovich was charged under Part 2 of Article 216 of the Criminal Code (Infliction of property damage without signs of theft). The claim is that the utility services of the premises were paid at the rates for individuals instead of those for legal entities. The investigators calculated that over four years the Minenergo enterprise had lost more than 10,000 rubles, which the defendant reimbursed in full. The enterprise itself has never filed a complaint.

On March 15, 2022, Judge Anzhela Kastsiukevich found Yahor Martsinovich and Andrei Skurko guilty under part 2 of article 216 of the Criminal Code and sentenced them each to 2.5 years of imprisonment in a general regime penal colony, thus satisfying the request of prosecutor Mikalai Dziatsel.

Access to media websites blocked, searches and detentions of journalists ongoing throughout Belarus

The website of Nasha Niva newspaper was blocked on July 8. Searches were conducted in the apartment of its editor-in-chief Yahor Martsinovich and in the office of the newspaper, the accounting office and the home of the editor Andrei Skurko. Several reporters were detained but released after an interview under a gag order.



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