On 1 October 2021, Belarusian KGB detained Henadz Mazheika, the journalist of the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi. The reason for the detention was his article containing positive comments about Andrei Zeltser, killed shortly before in the shootout with security officers, by his former classmate.
Previously, it was reported that Henadz was detained in Moscow, where he had been staying on personal matters. However, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, his detention took place within the territory of Belarus. Currently, Mazheika is being held at the Detention Center on Akrestsina street. His Minsk apartment was searched. The journalist is accused of “incitement to racial, national, religious or other social hostility” and of “insulting a government official”.
Vladimir Sungorkin, the editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Russia, commented on the detention of journalist Henadz Mazheika: “A couple of days ago we thought that there was some kind of a prolonged misunderstanding, but now I think that everything that happens to Komsomolskaya Pravda represents an arbitrary behaviour. I have no idea what caused it. This is an inadequate reaction to a completely innocent newspaper article. It contains just a few words by Zeltser’s classmate, saying that at school he was a good guy and that she does not understand what had happened to him. For these words our journalist is being held at the detention center and the website of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus was blocked“.
The Union of Journalists of Russia calls for the release of Henadz Mazheika.
Following the shootout in Minsk, security officers have detained over 110 people for commenting in social networks on the deaths of Andrei Zeltser and of the KGB officer. All of them are accused of “insulting a government official” and “incitement to social discord”.