"There is nothing impossible for her" — a story about the founder of the Press Club, Yulia Slutskaya.
Four months after the Belarusian presidential elections, the founder of Press Club Belarus, Yulia Slutskaya, and three members of her team — Financial Director Sergei Olshevsky, Programme Director Alla Sharko and Yulia's son Photographer Pyotr Slutsky — were arrested on charges of tax evasion and have been remanded in prison in Minsk since December 22, 2020.
This is the story of Yulia Slutskaya, who brought journalists, business people, civic activists and even the state together in the Press Club and was imprisoned for it.
On April 23, 2021, the term of detention was extended for the third time. No investigative action is being carried out involving detainees; they are simply confined to their cells. We know from their relatives and lawyers that prison conditions are harsh. There is black mold in Yuliya's cell. Pyotr shares a cell with 22 other inmates. Most letters sent to our colleagues are not delivered. When the weather was freezing, they did not receive parcels with warm clothes.
All detained members of the Press Club Belarus team have been recognised as political prisoners.
The Press Club team, decided to tell about organisation and what they do. For half a decade, they worked openly and legally in Minsk without any complaints from the authorities. That was before the 2020 presidential elections. Fifteen minutes is not enough to describe all Press Club's projects, bringing together journalists, analysts, media professionals, IT experts, NGOs, business people and the state.
Yulia Slutskaya has done a tremendous amount to nurture professional journalism and a competitive media market in Belarus.