26 February 1998


TV chief appeals against two-year probation order

Incident details

Pavel Sheremet



(WiPC/IFEX) - On 28 January 1998, the Oshmyany Municipal Court sentenced
Pavel Sheremet, Minsk Bureau Chief of the Russian Television company, ORT,
to two years probation. Sheremet had been arrested in July 1997 on charges
of illegal border crossing. He was held until October before being freed
pending trial. WiPC considered him to be detained in violation of his right
to practice his profession as a journalist and campaigned for his release.

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 15 December, 10 October, 9 September, 15 and 6
August, 31 and 28 July 1997**

WiPC is disappointed that Sheremet is now faced with the prospect of further
judicial proceedings should he break the terms of his probation. WiPC
understands that Sheremet is appealing against the court's decision.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • expressing concern about the two-year probation order against Pavel
  • pointing out that the charges of illegal border crossing, for which
    Sheremet was convicted, have been levied as a means of halting his critical
    reporting of Belarus government policy, and that as a consequence, the
    two-year term of probation will serve to further curtail his freedom to
    practice his profession as a journalist
  • expressing the hope that in reviewing his case, the Belarus judicial
    authorities take into consideration international concerns that the
    conviction was passed as a means of restricting Sheremet's right to free
    expression, and that is acquitted as a result

    Appeals To

    His Excellency
    President Alexander Lukashenko
    Minsk, Belarus
    Fax:+375 172 23 58 25 or 22 38 27

    Valentin Agolets
    Minister of the Interior
    Minsk, Belarus
    Fax: + 375 172 23 99 18

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    International PEN
    Writers in Prison Committee
    International PEN
    Brownlow House
    50-51 High Holborn
    London WC1V 6ER
    United Kingdom
    wipc (@) internationalpen.org.uk
    Fax:+ 44 0 20 74050339

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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