Volha Loika

TUT.BY editor, fleed abroad

Date of birth: 13 December 1978

Date of detention: 18 May 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 361 of the Criminal Code — Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 243 of the Criminal Code — Evasion of taxes and fees
Art. 130 of the Criminal Code — Incitement to hatred

Godparent: Willie Rennie, member of the Scottish Parliament

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

Volha Loika is the editor-in-chief of the political and economic section of TUT.BY, the largest Belarusian independent online media.

Volha Loika graduated from three universities — the Belarusian State University, the Belarusian State Economic University, and Oxford University. She hosted an economic talk show together with Siarhei Chaly, a popular Belarusian economic analyst. In her spare time, she likes to travel, ride a bike, take pictures, read books, and meet friends.

Her colleagues describe her as a person who "explains politics and business to Belarusians in a simple and plain language". Her sister Maryia described her as a caring person whose vocation is journalism. "Many of the heroes of her articles called me and wrote to me after her arrest," Maryia said in an interview.

Volha Loika was arrested on May 18, 2021, as a defendant in the criminal case initiated against TUT.BY for 'tax evasion on an especially large scale' (Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code). She was also accused under Part 3 of Article 130 ('Incitement of other social enmity committed by a group of persons') and Part 3 of Article 361 ('Calls for sanctions against Belarus in mass media') of the Criminal Code.

On March 17, 2022, she was released under a personal guarantee from remand prison #1 in Minsk, along with two other defendants in the TUT.BY case.

In October 2022, the KGB included Volha Loika in the 'List of persons involved in terrorist activities'.

On January 9, 2023, the trial of the TUT.BY case began in the Minsk City Court. The trial was held behind closed doors from the very beginning. Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich considered the case.

Volha Loika, as well as Alena Talkachova and Katsiaryna Tkachenka, did not appear at the trial because they had gone abroad. As reported by pro-government Telegram channels, separate court proceedings were started against them. They are wanted.

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