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Journalist Zdvizhkov Wants To Emigrate

Journalist Zdvizhkov Wants To Emigrate
By Sergey Pulsha
Belorusskie Novosty
Alexander Zdvizhkov, the Deputy Editor of Zgoda newspaper that was shut down by the authorities, has announced plans to leave Belarus and change his citizenship. The statement was made on 25 February at the press conference at the Belarusian Journalists Association in Minsk, reports BelaPAN.
“I don’t feel safe in Belarus. I’m willing to acknowledge it. I will breathe freely only when I get out of the Republic of Belarus,” stated Alexander Zdvizhkov. "I am going to change citizenship and it is a political act for me. I do not want to be a citizen of the Republic of Belarus any longer. I am ashamed to be a citizen of a country that has such courts, prosecutors and prisons."
“Moreover, I would recommend all my fellow inmates to leave the country because somebody who had been in prison can get there again under any pretext. Somebody from prison is not a second-class person, he’s an outcast. He can be put back in prison for five or more years just for crossing the road in a wrong place,” said the journalist.
He said that he is treated as a recidivist for the law-enforcing institutions. “I had a criminal case instigated against me in 2005 for insulting the President. Later on it was changed into an administrative offence. Still, those materials from the 2005 case are found in my current case,” said Alexander Zdvizhkov.
Alexander Zdvizhkov said that he was released as part of the Belarusian government's "political campaign" to free political prisoners. "The article under which I was convicted and the proceedings particular were purely political and that is why my release also was part of a political campaign for the release of political prisoners," Zdvizhkov told BelaPAN.
“I am going to pursue my career as a writer, not a journalist. I have a novel ready to be published. I am finishing the second one, and there might be the third one on the way. This Alexander Zdvizhkov said that he did not feel well. "The three months in prison were quite difficult for me. I lost 30 percent of the eyesight and developed problems with hearing."
is my intention,” said Alexander Zdvizhkov.
The deputy editor of the now-closed newspaper Zhoda had been sentenced to three years in prison last month over the reprinting of controversial Danish cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad. He was found guilty of "inciting racial, national or religious enmity or discord."
The journalist was freed from prison on February 22 after the Supreme Court mitigated his sentence, reducing it to three months. The court cited his health problems and the poor health of his elderly mother.


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