June 10, 2024

10.06.2024 – Court Case Against Journalist Alena Timashchuk in Brest Regional Court

On 31 May 2024, the Regional Court in Brest (Брэст / Берасьце), Belarus, scheduled a trial for Alena Timashchuk (Алена Цімашчук). She is charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: discrediting the Republic of Belarus (Article 369-1), inciting hostility or enmity (Part 3 of Article 130), and participating in an extremist organization (Part 3 of Article 361-1). The name, surname, and patronymic of the accused match those of a local journalist who previously worked for the state newspaper “Brestsky Vestnik” (Брестский вестник – https://bvn.by) and the television and radio company “Brest” (Брэст – https://www.trkbrest.by/news/video/page/1270/).

Alena Timashchuk has also freelanced for regional publications such as “Vecherny Brest” (Вечерний Брест – https://vb.by/) “Brestsky Courier” (Брестский курьер) “Brestskaya Gazeta” (Брестская газета) the online publication “Virtual Brest” (Виртуальный Брест – https://virtualbrest.ru/) and the “Brest Green Portal” (Брестским зелёным порталом – https://greenbelarus.info).

Local journalists note that during her collaboration with independent media, Timashchuk did not write about political topics. She often produced advertising articles and wrote on psychology, in which she holds a degree.

The exact reason for the criminal prosecution of the journalist remains unknown.

The case is being presided over by a judge, who was appointed to the Brest Regional Court in November 2023, having previously chaired the court in the Stolin (Столін) District, Belarus.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) will be closely monitoring the case of Alena Timashchuk, the journalist facing charges under several articles of the Belarusian Criminal Code. Given the serious nature of the allegations, which include discrediting the Republic of Belarus, inciting hostility, and participating in an extremist organization, SEEMO is committed to ensuring that Timashchuk receives a fair trial and all international standards are respected. Her work and the court case highlights the importance of press freedom, and SEEMO will remain vigilant in observing the proceedings to safeguard these fundamental rights in Belarus. SEEMO would like to remind that many journalists in Belarus are or have been in prison because of their professional journalist work.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

#fyp #mediafreedom #seemo #freespeech #southeasteuropemediaorganisation #ngo #journalist #belarus #AlenaTimashchuk #journalisttrial #SEEMO #pressfreedom #mediafreedom