Igor Karmazin, a journalist of Russian tabloid Moskovskij Komsomolets was expelled from Belarus, where he arrived to write a story on political prisoners.
After he met with imprisoned Andrei Sannikov’s wife – Iryna Khalip, Mr. Karmazin was approached by three man in plain cloths, dragged into a car, and brought to a police station. There he was told he constituted “a security threat” and after an interrogation he was put on a train to Moscow. According to Karmazin’s testimony, the police deleted interviews he had recorded, took his finger prints and wanted to find out what was the topic of his conversation with Khalip.
The journalist received also a year-long entry ban to Belarus, but should he attempt to violate the ban – he might be face up to three years of prison. According to Mr. Karmazin, one of the policeman interrogating him asked for his understanding: “We are just a baton, a weapon used by the authorities”. The Russian journalist is also convinced that Iryna Khalip is subjected to a 24-hour monitoring of the secrete service and all her contacts with people are reviewed.