A Belarusian court has sentenced the journalist Gennady Mozheiko to three years in a penal colony, qualifying his writing for the Russian media Komsomolskaya Pravda as “inciting hatred and insulting an official.”
The prosecution had requested a 12-year prison term for the journalist, alleging that his publications in 2020–2021 contained “negative, obscene, and impermissible” remarks about Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko.
Mozheiko did not admit his guilt.
The journalist was arrested in October 2021, after publishing a story on the Belarusian IT specialist Andrey Zeltser, who had been posthumously accused of murdering the KGB operative Dmitry Fedosyuk.
The story ran against the official grain, and had to be taken down from Komsomolskaya Pravda website eight minutes after being published. Still, the outlet’s Belarusian site was blocked by the authorities. Ultimately, Komsomolskaya Pravda had to stop publishing in Belarus.