Vienna, 25 June 2002
The Vienna South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the criminal court sentences in Belarus against two journalists who were convicted on 24 June to two and two and a half years of “restricted freedom.”
According to officials, Pavel Mozheiko and Nikolai Markevich, both reporters for the independent newspaper Pagonya in Grodno, have allegedly insulted President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko during the 2001 presidential campaign. The journalists were convicted in connection with an article, calling on voters not to support Lukashenka. 11,000 copies of the newspaper were confiscated in the printing house before they could be distributed.