Journalist forbidden to leave Belarus

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Polish-Belarusian journalist accused of defaming Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been banned from leaving Belarus due to a suspended court sentence given to him earlier this year.

The Polish activist and journalist Andrzej Poczobut was convicted in July for alleged defamation in the Polish Press, and sentenced to three years, suspended.

Informed of the travel ban by the Belarusian Interior Ministry, he said he intends to continue reporting from within Belarus.

Police told the Gazeta Wyborcza journalist to report to police three times each month and not to travel, after inspecting and registering him. After three violations of the conditions, he would be jailed.

He had recently travelled to and from Warsaw just before the order came, because he anticipated some travel restrictions.