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Six Belsat journalists detained in Maladechna and Lida, equipment confiscated

03.08.2020 Source: BAJ Press Service

On friday six Belsat journalists were detained by police while livestreaming. They were covering campaign rallies of Lukashenka's rival Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Maladechna and Lida.

Zmitser Mitskevich and Dzianis Dziuba were arrested when livestreaming from the campaign rally in Maladechna. The police officers did not explain the reason for detention and did not introduce themselves. They ordered to switch off the camera right away. Later, the police damaged their camera.

Mitskevich and Dziuba were taken to the police department. .

Maladechna police told their colleagues they were examining the case under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code. When told they had kept the journalists for more than 3 hours, they just hung up.

Mitskevich and Dziuba were released at about 11 p.m.  They are charged under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code. Their smartphones and other equipment were taken for examination. 

Also, Maladechna police detained journalists Maria Artsybashava and Ales Silich. Ales Silich was fined 5 base values for a white-red-white sticker on the car (Article 18.12 of the Administrative Code). Then the journalists were let go.

In the evening the police detained Belsat journalists Uladzimir Luniou and Halina Abakunchyk in Lida. They were livestreaming from a campaign rally of Lukashenka's rival Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. These rallies have been permitted by the authorities.

Halina Abakunchyk and Uladzimir Luniou were released after midnight. The police took their smartphones and drew up reports under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code.

The journalists were kept in the police station for about five hours. Halina and Uladzimir filed a complaint about the actions of the police officers.

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