NO WAR!
194

BelaPAN news agency

23.08.2022

 

No.

Date

Form of repression

Description

  1.  

29 August 2020

Website blocking

Access to the naviny.by website was blocked in Belarus by the decision of the Ministry of Information.

  1.  

14 January 2021

Search in the editorial office

During the search in the BelaPAN editorial office, which lasted about three hours, law enforcement officers seized "handwritten notes, documents, several dozen hard drives, and a hard drive of the local network server."

 

The search was conducted as part of the criminal case against the former assistant director of the agency, journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau (detained on 12 January 2021, in custody) under Article 342 of the Criminal Code ("Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order).

  1.  

12 April 2021

Website blocking

A mirror site of the naviny.by website was blocked in Belarus by the decision of the Ministry of Information.

  1.  

18 August 2021

Search in the editorial office Criminal case

On the morning of 28 August 2021, law enforcement officers searched the BelaPAN news agency editorial office and homes of agency journalists and other staff members.

 

During the searches, the BelaPAN servers based in Belarus were seized; the belapan.by and belapan.com websites were no longer accessible.

 

When the paid period of domain name use of belapan.by and naviny.by was over, the service provider sold them at an auction to third parties not affiliated with BelaPAN staff.

 

The following BelaPAN staff members were searched:

  • editor-in-chief Iryna Leushyna (in custody)

  • former director Dzmitry Navazhylau (in custody)

  • editor Aliaksandr Zaitsau (was not detained)

  • journalist Iryna Turchyna (released upon interrogation)

  • accountant Katsiaryna Boyeva (released with an undertaking to appear)

  • journalist Zakhar Shcharbakou (released upon interrogation)

 

The Investigative Committee reported that Dzmitry Navazhylau, Iryna Leushyna, and Katsiaryna Boyeva were detained on suspicion of committing crimes under part 1 Article 342 of the Criminal Code ("Organization and active participation in actions that grossly violate public order").

 

A tax audit of BelaPAN was initiated, which revealed violations of tax legislation. It was reported that after determining the final amount of unpaid taxes, "the investigation will make a legal assessment of the BelaPAN officials' actions" under Article 243 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion).

 

In 2022, the "BelaPAN case" was taken to court. Iryna Leushyna, Dzmitry Navazhylau, Andrei Aliaksandrau, and his partner Iryna Zlobina were criminally charged under several articles: the creation of the extremist formation BelaPAN, tax evasion, and treason. The case is being considered by the Minsk Regional Court in camera.

 

1 November 2021

Recognition as an extremist formation

According to the Decision of the State Security Committee of 01.11.2021 "On recognition of a group of citizens as an extremist formation and prohibition of its activity," "a group of citizens from among BelaPAN news agency employees" carries out extremist activity.

 

The BelaPAN news agency was included in the Register of Organizations, Formations, and Individual Entrepreneurs Involved in Extremist Activity under No. 10.

 

Establishment or participation in an extremist formation is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 10 years (Article 3611 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus).