MINSK, Belarus – A journalist for an independent Belarusian news website who says he was beaten by police while covering a trial of opposition activists has been fined for failing to obey lawful orders.
Pavel Dobrovolsky says he was trying to record video Monday of protesters who unfurled a banner at the trial when police seized him. He says they took his camera and journalist accreditation and beat him for about 20 minutes. His website, www.tut.by , showed photos of him with bruises to his pelvis.
Minsk police on Tuesday issued a statement saying that Dobrovolsky did not obey a directive to leave the courtroom and "physical force was used against him in connection with this."
Dobrovolsky was fined the equivalent of $500.
Independent journalism is tightly restricted in the former Soviet nation.