A court in Belarus sentenced two journalists to two years in prison Thursday on charges of orchestrating demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko.
Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Daria Chultsova of Poland’s Belsat TV were arrested in November in a Minsk apartment. They were livestreaming ongoing protests taking place in support of a demonstrator who was killed several days earlier.
Andreyeva told the court ahead of the verdict she would work to build “a Belarus that won’t have political repressions.”
A lawyer for the journalists said they would appeal the verdict.
There have been mass demonstrations in Belarus following a contested August election that Lukashenko’s opponents said was rigged to give him another term. Lukashenko has denied the election was fraudulent.
A subsequent crackdown on the protests has led to the arrests of thousands of people, and prompted the United States and European Union to enact sanctions against officials in Belarus.