At least 11 TUT.BY employees remain in detention a day after security forces searched the company’s offices and homes of its staff in a criminal investigation of suspected tax evasion. The whereabouts of many of them were unknown until late at night on 18 May.
May 18 has become a black Tuesday for the Belarusian segment of the Internet. Disturbing news from TUT.BY newsroom has been pouring in since early morning. Detentions, website blocking, a criminal case... TUT.BY office was searched until late at night, and the staff still inside were let go one by one. We will be updating you on the main news on this high-profile case throughout the day.
IMS calls international community take robust action stop abuses against journalists, media in Belarus
International Media Support (IMS) resolutely condemns the Belarusian regime’s assault on the country’s independent media TUT.BY and calls on the international community to take robust action to stop abuses against journalists, media and civil society in Belarus.
Several TUT.BY editors, including chief editor Marina Zolotova, have reported that employees of the DFR (Department of Financial Investigation) came to their apartments. Security forces also came to the offices of TUT.BY and Hoster.by. Later, it was reported that a criminal case was initiated against the officials of TUT BY MEDIA LLC on the grounds of a crime under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code (evasion of taxes and fees on an especially large scale).
VIENNA, 17 May 2021 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, deplores the latest imprisonment of several journalists in Belarus.
TUT.BY journalist Lyubov Kasperovich is being examined in the Moskovsky District Court. She is accused of participating in an unsanctioned mass event. Judge Sergei Katser found the journalist guilty and sentenced her to 15 days of arrest.
As TUT.BY learned, recently our colleague Katerina Borisevich was transferred to the women’s colony in Gomel. Katerina was sentenced to six months of imprisonment in the so-called “0 ‰ of alcohol” case. The term of imprisonment expires on 19 May, that is, in two days she must be released.
Journalists Alexander Burakou and Uladzimir Laptsevich punished with 20-day arrests, report torture following detention
Journalist Alexander Burakou, who collaborates with Deutsche Welle, received 20 days of administrative arrest for alleged "repeated participation in an unauthorized event within a year". Burakou was detained on May 12 near Mahiliou regional court building. Uladzimir Laptsevich, reporter of 6tv.by received a similar sentence — 20 days of arrest.
Lukashenko‘s regime is intensifying its crackdown on Belarusian journalists and citizens. In the last few days, the police have made several administrative arrests, bringing the number of journalists deprived of their freedom to 16.