Katsyaryna Bakhvalava (Andreeva), a journalist of Belsat TV channel, was detained on November 15, 2020 during a live broadcast from Peremen Square, where an action in memory of the deceased protester Raman Bandarenka took place.

On February 18, 2021, she and camerawoman Darya Chultsova were found guilty of organizing actions that grossly violate public order and sentenced to 2 years in a penal colony.

A new criminal case against Katsyaryna became known in February 2022, this time the journalist was accused of treason.

Katsyaryna was transferred from the colony to the pre-trial detention center-3 in Homel, the new investigation lasted less than two months.

The trial could have started in May, but nothing is known about it yet.

"Katsyaryna's case was sent to court in mid-April," the journalist's husband

Ihar Ilyash said


- It was received in the Gomel regional court.

And since then there has been no change in the case, no new information.

I predicted that the trial would take place in mid-May, based on how her first case developed.

But the start date of the trial has not been set yet.

And it turns out so interesting that the investigation took less time than this case is now in court. "

Igor says he can't know what it's about.

Katsyaryna's detention in the pre-trial detention center has been extended twice already.

The new deadline is the second half of July.

According to the husband of the political prisoner journalist, in mid-July the legal grounds to keep Katsyaryna in the pre-trial detention center will end, so Ihar is counting on some changes in her situation.

"The trial can start at any time," he said.

- At least tomorrow.

But I think that before July the process will not start, it will be difficult to organize physically.

We still don't know anything, no details.

Only the information that Katya herself told her parents over the phone.

A lawyer under a non-disclosure agreement.

He can't tell any details. "

Such a delay with the start of the trial against the journalist does not look quite normal.

The approximate deadline for the beginning of criminal cases, which takes place after their transfer to court, is one month.

Katsyaryna's relatives attribute the delay to the fact that the authorities have not yet decided what to do with the political prisoner journalist.

"The only thing that comes to mind is that, apparently, the decision on Katya has not been made yet," says Igor Ilyash.

- Because if the authorities know what they want, everything is done very quickly.

And even the trial itself can take only a few hours, as was the case with Andrei Kuznechyk (a freelancer of Radio Liberty, sentenced to 6 years in prison; the trial lasted about three hours. - RS).

Apparently, there is no final decision yet.

And so it's all very protracted.

The trial was supposed to start a month ago. "

Ekaterina Andreeva (Bakhvalova) has been in the Homel pre-trial detention center No. 3 since the beginning of the new investigation in February 2022. She used to serve her sentence in the Gomel women's colony.

She has no problems in correspondence with relatives, letters pass very quickly and almost all.

Catherine hardly receives mail from other people.

"Ekaterina does not complain about the conditions of detention," adds Igor.

- She says that it is easier for her to be in a pre-trial detention center than in a colony.

There’s no exercise and a better overall atmosphere, not so depressing.

Katya's mood remains.

Such equal peace.

He writes that one should gather one's will in one's fist and look ahead.

Ready for any scenario, but hopes her story will be resolved much sooner than is possible in this situation.

I mean the term that threatens Katya in the new case. "

Article 356 of the Criminal Code "Treason" provides for imprisonment for a term of 7 to 20 years.

The first term of the journalist's imprisonment ends in September 2022.