Police lieutenant Aliaksandr Yemyalyanau, an inspector of Byalynichy District Directorate of Interior, is investigating “the spy case”. On May 2, 2013 he visited independent journalist Barys Vyrvich in the agro-town of Vyalikaya Mashchanitsa.
It is to be recalled that in February, 2013 Belsat’s journalists were covering the persecution of activist Valery Vusik who had disclosed numerous violations of the administration of agricultural production cooperative Lebedzyanka. After launching threats against Mr Vusik its representatives accused the journalists of … industrial spying saying that the latter entered a barn (!) without the administration’s permission.
“The main reason for the visit was the wish to find out how the information about Lebedzyanka got to Belsat TV and whether the journalists who were shooting the report were Belsat’s contributors,” human rights centre Viasna (Spring) reports.
The “barn-industrial spying” case has had legs: according to the police officer, Mikhail Byalou, an employee at APG Lebedzyanka, notified the police that he had been allegedly slandered by Valery Vusik during the visits of the independent journalists to the farm on 28 February 2013.
“I have the impression that the police officer was mostly interested in the independent journalists who had shot the report and their possible cooperation with Belsat TV, as the majority of questions were asked about them. I answered most of them that simply – “I don’t know,” Barys Vyrvich said.