Aleh Hruzdzilovich, a Radio Liberty journalist, was detained for the first time on 16 July 2021 during a number of searches conducted at the independent journalists' homes in Minsk and other towns across Belarus. They searched his flat, seized electronic equipment, and arrested Aleh himself. He was released 10 days later but remained a suspect in the case.
A few months later, on December 23, 2021, Hruzdzilovich was taken from his home in Minsk by unknown masked people. His pre-trial restraint was changed and the journalist was taken into custody. Five days later, it became clear he was accused of participating in an unauthorized rally after the Belarusian MFA revoked his accreditation.
In March 2022, Hruzdzilovich was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The journalist was a political prisoner and served his sentence at Mogilev prison No. 15. At the beginning of July 2022, Minsktrans [Minsk Transport Agency] served Aleh with three civil suits for interruption of transport operation during rallies in the summer and autumn 2020, for a total amount of over 56 thousand Belarusian Roubles.
On September 21, 2022, news broke that Aleh Hruzdzilovich and his wife Mariana were in Vilnius. He told his colleagues from Radio Liberty that he submitted a petition for pardon but didn't plead guilty. The condition for his release was that he left the country to which Aleh responded with his own condition that he would only leave with his wife. Aleh also said, 'Only their argument that my colleagues might not be released, if I refused, assured me. Another argument was that my detention might be extended from 18 months to a much longer time. All these worked and I decided to agree to leave.'
On November 4, 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs added the journalist to the list of persons involved in extremist activities.
Aleh Hruzdzilovich's story is told by his friends, colleagues and wife.