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RFE/RL Belarus

23.08.2022 Source: БАЖ

RFE/RL Belarus

Data correct as of 28.06.2022

No.

Date

Form of repression

Description

  1.  

29 August 2020

Revocation of foreign media journalist press credentials

By decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the foreign media press credentials of Ales Dashchynski, Aleh Hruzdzilovich, Uladzimir Hrydzin, and Aliaksandra Dynko were revoked, which deprived them of the permission to legally work in Belarus as Radio Liberty Belarus correspondents.

 

2 October 2020

Revocation of foreign media journalist press credentials

By the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the rest of the RFE/RL Belarus staff were also deprived of their press credentials — all previously issued foreign journalist credentials were revoked. Despite numerous attempts, RFE/RL Belarus journalists did not receive new press credentials.

  1.  

16 July 2021

Search in the editorial office

The editorial offices and RFE/RL Belarus journalists' homes were searched.

 

Law enforcement officers dismantled video surveillance cameras on the floor and broke down three doors in the Radio Liberty Belarus Minsk office. Studio equipment was seized during the search.

 

Searches took place in the homes of journalists Aleh Hruzdzilovich, Ina Studzinskaya, and Ales Dashchynski; the reporters were detained.

 

Hruzdzilovich and Studzinskaya were released after 10 days of detention; Dashchynski — a week later.

 

  1.  

3 December 2021

Declaring content extremist

The Tsentralny District Court of Minsk recognized RFE/RL Belarus content, social media, and messenger services as extremist.

 

Now readers may be held administratively liable under Part 2 Article 19.11 of the Administrative Offenses Code (a fine of $100-300) for disseminating information linking to RFE/RL Belarus resources.

  1.  

23 December 2021

Recognition as an extremist formation

According to the Decision No. 21EK of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of 23 December 2021 "On recognizing a group of citizens as an extremist formation and banning its activities", "a group of citizens united through the RFE/RL Belarus website, Telegram channel, YouTube channel, and other online resources carry out extremist activities."

 

RFE/RL Belarus was included in the Register of Organizations, Formations, and Individual Entrepreneurs Involved in Extremist Activity under No. 24.

 

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).

5.

25 November 2021

Detention of journalists

Andrei Kuznechyk, an RFE/RL Belarus freelance reporter, was arrested.

His apartment was searched. The detention allowed the law enforcers to capture control of the RFE/RL Belarus Telegram channel for a short time.

 

The next day Zavadski District Court of Minsk sentenced Andrei Kuznechyk to 10 days of detention, but on December 5 he was not released and instead, was again detained for 10 days by the same court. He was not released on 15 December either.

 

On 23 December, Andrei's relatives were informed that a criminal case had been opened against him. Later it became known that the RFE/RL Belarus freelancer was accused of "establishing an extremist formation" (Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code).

 

On 8 June, Mahilou Regional Court found Andrei Kuznechyk guilty and sentenced him to six years of imprisonment.

6.

23 December 2021

Detention of journalists

Masked people raided the home of Aleh Hruzdzilovich and arrested him. Aleh was put in custody as a suspect in the criminal case for "Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them" (Article 342 of the Criminal Code).

On 28 December 2021, it became known that Aleh was charged with participation in unauthorized protest action when his press credentials had already been revoked by the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

 

He was charged with three counts of participation in "mass riots" during the protests against the rigged elections of 2020 and violence.

 

On 3 March 2022, Aleh Hruzdzilovich was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment by the Maskouski District Court of Minsk.