Another journalist linked to sports news site arrested over protests

08.09.2021 Source: By BelaPAN

Minsk, 7 September. Andrej Masloŭski, a journalist who worked for the now-blacklisted sports news website for more than a decade, was arrested on September 6.

Officers of the interior ministry’s organized crime and corruption department, which has played a central role in the government’s crackdown on political opponents, searched Mr. Masloŭski’s apartment before arresting him.

A pro-government Telegram channel later published a video of an ostensibly repentant Mr. Masloŭski speaking about the site’s allegedly pro-opposition editorial policy following the disputed August 2020 presidential election and regretting his participation in post-election protests.

Mr. Masloŭski, a 37-year-old father-of-two, joined the team in 2010 and quit the job in July 2021.

Maksim Bierazinski, head of the site, recalled that had been blocked and designated as extremist by Belarus’ authorities.

“But we continue working, continue informing people about what is really happening in the sphere of sports,” he told BelaPAN, speaking from a foreign country. “Perhaps someone may not like that. I see that as powerlessness.”

He described Mr. Masloŭski as a “kind, decent and calm” person and expressed hope that he would be reunited with his family soon.

Aliaksandr Ivulin, a journalist, was arrested at his Minsk home on June 3 and sentenced to 30 days in jail the following day on a charge of holding an unauthorized protest.

He was not released on completion of his jail sentence. Instead, he was put in custody and charged under Part One the Criminal Code’s Article 342, which penalizes “organizing or taking an active part in group actions grossly disturbing public order.”

Mr. Ivulin is currently held in Pre-Trial Detention Center No. 1 on Valadarskaha Street in Minsk.

On September 1, police searched the Minsk apartment of Mr. Bierazinski, who had left Belarus months before.