2021-07-13
Solidarity action in support of journalists, Minsk, 2020.

In Brest, homes of the employees of the local magazine Binokl (Binoculars) were searched: security forces came to the publisher of the magazine Darya Harashchanka, photographer Volha Latyshava, and editor Kseniya Piatrovich.

In Mahiliou, police searched the editorial office of the Mahiliou Region website. Security forces confiscated computers and other equipment. Police officers came to the editorial office of Mahiliou portal 6tv.by and seized the equipment. A protocol was drawn up against Ales Asiptsou, a freelance BelaPAN journalist in Mahiliou, “for illegal production of media content”.

In Homel, a search was carried out at Hanna Strelchanka’s place, an accountant of the Homel-based Silnye Novosti media outlet.

The editorial staff of Nasha Niva newspaper will stop working in Belarus for security reasons. Four employees of this media, including editor-in-chief Yahor Martsinovich, were detained on 8 July 2021 on suspicion of organizing actions that violate public order. Yahor Martsinovich was beaten during the arrest. Nasha Niva website has since been blocked by the authorities.

29 media representatives remain imprisoned in Belarus. Two journalists have been convicted and are serving their sentences in a penal colony. In total, since the beginning of the year, 87 detentions of journalists and 107 searches were documented, as well as six instances of violence and assaults on journalists while the latter were performing their professional duties. Journalists were under administrative arrest 21 times and were fined 38 times for a total of $18,000. Most of the detained journalists were recognized as political prisoners by human rights activists.