Minsk, 19 July. Three detained representatives of the popular online publication Naša Niva – Editor in Chief Jahor Marcinovič; Andrej Skurko, head of the advertising department; and Andrej Dyńko, editor in chief of the historical magazine Naša Historyja (Our History) – have been arrested for 72 hours as suspects in proceedings under Part Two of the Criminal Code’s Article 216, which penalizes “damage without theft.”
According to Naša Niva, the families of Messrs. Marcinovič and Skurko were not told to whom exactly they had caused the damage, while the family of Mr. Dyńko was informed that he had caused damage estimated at 3,500 rubels (some $1,400) to Minenerha (Minsk power utility) by paying the rent at a rate for households, whereas the rent should have been paid at a rate for legal entities.
Messrs. Marcinovič, Skurko and Dyńko and Chief Accountant Voĺha Rakovič were arrested on July 8 following searches of their homes, Naša Niva’s editorial office and its accounting office.
Initially, they were said to be detained as suspects in proceedings under Part One of the Criminal Code’s Article 342, which penalizes “preparations for actions grossly disturbing public order.”
Ms. Rakovič was released on her own recognizance on July 16.
Messrs. Marcinovič, Skurko and Dyńko were not formally charged within the first 10 days of their detention. Instead, they were put in custody for 72 hours as suspects in proceedings under a different Criminal Code article.