The Investigative Committee of Belarus has opened a fresh criminal case against journalists and executives with ТУТ.бай, once the country’s largest independent news outlet that was crushed by the authorities earlier this year.
In a statement on Thursday, the Investigative Committee’s press office said that the criminal proceedings had been instituted under the Criminal Code’s Article 130, which penalizes incitement to hatred.
No other details were immediately available.
On May 18, law enforcement officers raided the newsroom of ТУТ.бай and the homes of many of its staff in the framework of what was described as a tax evasion inquiry. Fifteen people, including CEO Liudmila Čekina, Editor in Chief Maryna Zolatava and prominent journalists Aliena Talkačova and Voĺha Lojka, were arrested. Julija Čarniaŭskaja, the ailing widow of ТУТ.бай founder Juryj Zisier, was placed under house arrest.
Access to the website has since been blocked. The news outlet’s content was designated extremist by a judge this past August.