Sports journalist Aliaksandr Ivulin sentenced to 2 years in prison

Political prisoner Aliaksandr Ivulin, a sports journalist, blogger, and forward of the Krumkachy football club, who has been behind bars for more than seven months, was sentenced to two years in prison. According to investigators, on 23 August and 27 September 2020, Ivulin “walked on a roadway… blocking the way for vehicles”. He also posted videos of “incentivizing nature to carry out destructive activities”. Minsktrans fined the journalist 39,000 Belarusian rubles (over 13,000 euros).

Aliaksandr Ivulin was detained on 3 June 2021. He was first sentenced to 30 days of administrative detention allegedly for displaying a flag on the window. However, he was never released. In his last word at the trial, the journalist denied all the accusations against him and asked the court not to deprive him of the opportunity to play football. Ivulin spoke about his parents and older brother with a disability, who need his help. In conclusion, Ivulin stated that he continued to believe in the rule of law, the norms of human morality, and in people.

Famous Belarusian athletes and football fans have supported Aliaksandr Ivulin. Belarusians abroad have expressed their support for the journalist, too. On 26 September 2021, the Aliaksandr Ivulin Cup was held in Scotland. The event was organized by the People’s Consulate of Belarus in Edinburgh and the human rights organization Libereco. On the eve of the court hearing, rallies in support of Ivulin were held in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

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