Belarus has most jailed journalists, Serbia would like to extradite one more

Photo: N1

The High Court in Belgrade ruled that the Belarusian journalist, director and opposition activist Andrej Gnjot should be extradited to Belarus. And while his defence is announcing an appeal, the European Union is calling on the Serbian authorities to release the journalist.

 

Belarus is looking for Gnjot for tax evasion, and while awaiting the decision of the Serbian authorities, he is under house arrest. Belarus is the country with the highest number of imprisoned journalists per capita and currently 36 journalists are serving prison terms.

 

His lawyer, Filip Sofijanic, explained to N1 that the indictment for tax evasion is just the „modus operandi“ of the Belarusian regime and that his client is wanted for participating in the 2020 protests ahead of the elections in Belarus.

 

Sofijanic announced his appeal to the Court of Appeal. He explained that the High Court, in its detailed explanation of the extradition decision, skipped mentioning that the Gnjota organization in Belarus was declared extremist.

 

Sofijanic said that the detailed decision of the High Court refers to the extradition agreements between Serbia and Belarus. However, he pointed out that the agreement states that no one will be able to be extradited because of their political beliefs.

 

„That’s why the part about the organization that was declared extremist was omitted from the decision of the High Court,“ the lawyer noted.

 

He says that all the Court of Appeal’s decisions have been positive for his client so far and that he hopes this time they will also decide positively and reject the request of Belarus to extradite the journalist to that country.

 

N1

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