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Enforcers search homes of journalists for Belsat

16.07.2021, 13:37
Belsat
Belsat

In Belarus, on the morning of July 16, security forces came to journalists who worked with Belsat TV, as Belsat reported.

In particular, searches are being carried out by the host of the program "Each of Us" Gleb Lobodenko, journalists Halyna Abakunchik, Yevhen Merkis and Ihor Ilyash, Khrystyna Chernyavska.

Oleksiy Kairis, a freelance journalist from Hrodno, and journalists Pavel Mozheiko and Oleksandr Saenko were also searched.

In Pinsk, officers from the Brest Criminal Investigation Department came to journalist Viktor Yaroshuk. The journalist is a witness in a criminal case. Police confiscated a computer and a mobile phone. Victor Yaroshuk himself was not detained. Pinsk journalist Andriy Yakimush and his mother were also searched. Andrew Yakimush left Belarus.

The parents of Brest journalist Ales Levchuk were searched and nothing was seized. In Brest, security officers broke down the door at the apartment of journalist Milana Kharitonova, seized  an old laptop and mobile phones.

Journalist Anna Galeta was searched and detained under Article 293 of the Criminal Code. Anna Galeta hosted the anti-fake program "Wily News" at Belsat. 

As the channel reminds, on July 8, law enforcement agencies conducted a large-scale raid on independent Belarusian publications. The State Security Committee reported an operation against "radical chat participants."

Earlier, searches took place in the following publications: "Nasha Niva", "Brestska Gazeta", "Intex-press", Orsha.eu, "Media-Polissya".

The Belarusian-language TV channel Belsat was established on the initiative and with the support of the Polish Foreign Ministry and Polish public television on April 23, 2007.

As IMI reported, on May 21, 2021, security officers broke into the Minsk studio of Belsat TV channel.

In June, a number of Belsat journalists left Belarus, including poetess and TV presenter Valeryna Kustova , TV presenter Denys Dudynsky and his wife Kateryna Raetska, and in May journalist Arina Malynovska .

As IMI reported, on May 7, the Ministry of Information of Belarus blocked access to the mirror of the Belsat TV channel's website - blstv.eu.

Earlier, the Belarusian parliament has adopted a set of amendments to the law that significantly restrict the work of mass media. 

On February 18, the judge Natallya Buhuk of the Frunze district court in the Belarusian capital, sentenced Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova after finding them guilty of "organizing public events aimed at disrupting civil order."

Andreyeva and Chultsova, in their last statement in the courtroom, again rejected the charges against them, calling them politically motivated.

The two journalists were arrested on November 15 while they were covering a rally in Minsk commemorating Raman Bandarenka.

Bandarenka died from injuries sustained in a vicious beating by a group of masked assailants -- whom rights activists say were affiliated with the authorities -- during one of the weekly rallies demanding the resignation of authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The two journalists have said they were at the protest solely to do their jobs when they were arrested.

On 18 of February, Ukrainian women journalists made statement in support of convicted colleagues from Belsat.

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