Workers of Ukrainian media collect signatures under the petition, which they are to send Belarusian leader Alexandr Lukashenko. They demand to release their illegally detained counterpart Alexandr Borozenko. The journalist who works for Belsat TV channel was detained in Minsk on March 25, during the rallies timed to the ‘Day of Freedom’, a number of peaceful anti-government protests in Belarus. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and the Information Centre for Human Rights reported that on evening of March 30.
‘We, the Ukrainian reporters, express our solidarity with Belarusian journalist, the cameraman of Belsat channel Alexandr Borozenko, whom the Moscow district court of Minsk sentenced to 15 days in prison. Protesting against the decision, the detainee began starving,’ the petition reads.
According to the police protocol and pro-government ‘witnesses’, Borozenko ‘acted inappropriately’ – namely, used obscene phrases and gestures. But the video footage from cameras proves otherwise; the man also repeatedly turned attention of the law enforcers to the fact that he was a reporter.
Since the video was not enough for the judge to recognize Borozenko’s innocence, the Ukrainian reporters considered the trial over their colleague a kind of political repressions, imposed by the Belarusian authorities. ‘We regret that our colleagues in Belarus have to resort to such extreme ways to protect their own dignity as starvation. We gather Alexandr Berezenko deserves respect for his honesty. We are protesting against the illegal persecution of the journalist and demanding that the Belarusian government release him immediately!,’ the document says.
During the ‘Day of Freedom’, a number of peaceful anti-government protests in Belarus, held on March 25, the riot police detained about 700 people. Among them were two Ukrainians; they were released and deported after the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent the respective note to Minsk. The rest of the detainees were charged with hooliganism or provoking policemen and sentenced from 1 to 20 days of imprisonment.