December 27, 2023

27.12.2023 – Belarusian Journalist Henadz Mazheika Released

Journalist Henadz Mazheika (Генадзь Мікалаевіч Мажэйка / Gennady Nikolayevich Mazheyka), born 1982, has allegedly recently been granted release from detention, marking a pivotal moment in the complex landscape of press freedom in Belarus. Mazheika worked for the Belarus edition of the Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda (Комсомольская правда /Камсамольская праўда) ( The Viasna Human Rights Center (Праваабарончы цэнтр Вясна) ( reported this significant development, and according to this organization, Mazheika was officially removed from the roster of current political prisoners on 23 November 2023.

The journalist had been sentenced to three years in a penal colony under the general regime by the Court in Minsk, Belarus on 23 March 2023. This verdict was predicated on charges of ‘inciting enmity’ against public officials. He was found guilty under the Article 130 (Incitement to racial, national or religious hatred or discord) and Article 368 (Insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus) of the Criminal law of Belarus.

He had been detained in October 2021 shortly after he published an article delving into the circumstances surrounding Andrei Zeltser’s (Андрэй Зельцэр), an Belarus IT worker, tragic encounter with Belarus intelligence agents. Zeltser lost his life in a confrontation during a raid on his apartment. The fallout from Mazheika’s investigative work extended beyond his personal predicament, as the Belarusian Ministry of Information took the drastic step of blocking access to Komsomolskaya Pravda’s website, citing concerns about potential threats to national security.

During his reporting from the demonstrations in August 2020 he was beaten by unknown security forces.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) will monitor also in the future all developments connected to the work of Henadz Mazheika.

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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