May 27, 2024

27.05.2024 – Political Prisoner and Blogger Ihar Losik

20 May 2024, marks the 32 birthday of Igor Losik (Ігар Лосік), born 1992, nearly four of which have been spent in detention. Currently, Losik is serving a 15-year sentence in Novopolotsk (Наваполацк) Colony No. 1, Belarus. This severe punishment is unprecedented among Belarusian independent journalists and bloggers.

Igor Losik, a consultant for the Belarusian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ( is also the administrator of the Telegram channel “Belarus of the Brain (Беларусь галаўнога мозгу- BGM – БГМ).”

Belarus of the Brain started in 2011 as a project on Twitter (today X), active from 2013 under @belamova. In 2016, the Telegram channel of the project started and had after several years close to 400,000 subscribers.

Losik was arrested on 25 June 2020, following a search of his home in Baranovichi (Баранавічы). He was charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order.

After a few days in the isolation center on Akrestina Street (Акрэсціна) in Minsk, Belarus, Losik was transferred to Pretrial Detention Center No. 1 in Minsk, Belarus and later to Zhodino (Жодзіна) Pretrial Detention Center in Belarus. Over time, he was moved between various detention facilities, and additional charges were brought against him under Article 293 of the Criminal Code for organizing mass riots. In protest against these accusations, Losik went on a hunger strike for several months, which was also supported by his wife, Darya / Daria Losik (Дар’я Лосік). Daria, born 1991, came also in prison. She was arrested on 18 October 2022 and sentenced starting from April 2023 to 2 years under Article 361 of the Criminal Code (“Facilitating extremist activities”) after an interview she gave the Belsat TV channel.

Losik’s case was combined with case of Sergei Tikhanovsky (Сярге́й Ціхано́ўскі), who is a Belarusian YouTuber, video blogger, and activist known for his opposition to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s (Аляксандр Лукашэнка). Tikhanovsky announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election in May 2020. However, he was arrested two days later, prompting his wife, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (Святлана Ціханоўская), to run in his place as the main opposition candidate in the highly contested election.

On 14 December 2021, in a closed trial held at the Pretrial Detention Center in Gomel (Гомель), Belarus. Igor Losik was found guilty under Part 1 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code for organizing mass riots and Article 130 of the Criminal Code for inciting hatred or enmity. Attempts to appeal the sentence were unsuccessful and rejected on 31 May 2022 by the Supreme Court of Belarus.

In June 2022, Igor Losik was transferred from Pretrial Detention Center No. 3 to Novopolotsk Correctional Colony No. 1, the most environmentally harmful and strictest in terms of detention conditions. Several other journalist-political prisoners, including Andrey Kuznechik (Андрэй Кузнечык), Andrey Alexandrov (Андрэй Аляксандраў), and Andrzej Poczobut (Анджэй Пачобут), are also serving sentences there.

On 28 June 2022, the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB – Камітэт дзяржаўнай бяспекі Рэспублікі Беларусь) added Igor Losik to the list of individuals “involved in terrorist activities,” significantly restricting his rights and opportunities in detention. For over a year, neither his family nor the public has been able to get any information about his health. The last letter his parents received was in February 2023. Parcel deliveries and visits are prohibited, and Losik cannot even use the so-called “shopping” allowance for one basic amount, as all funds from his account are allegedly used to pay off debts.

In July 2022, the Losik family’s property was seized to ensure compliance with the court ruling, which ordered the defendants in the “Tikhanovsky case” to pay 22 million BYN ( 6,197,685.97 EUR) in compensation. This sum is intended to cover the additional work time of Interior Ministry employees during the post-election protests.

Those who wish to support the journalist and blogger in these difficult times can send him a letter or postcard at the following address: 211440, Vitebsk region, Novopolotsk, Tekhnicheskaya Street, 8, Correctional Colony No. 1, to Igor Alexandrovich Losik. Of course, it is open, if the authorities will deliver him this letter.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the ongoing imprisonment of Ihar Losik, a political prisoner and blogger. His unjust 15-year sentence, the harshest against a Belarusian independent journalist, is a blatant violation of human rights. Despite severe health issues and inhumane conditions, Losik remains detained under politically motivated charges. SEEMO demands his immediate release and urges the international community to stand against such oppressive measures by the Belarusian authorities.

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.

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