Two plainclothes men were spying upon Mahiliou freelance journalist Alina Skrabunova near the block of flats she lives in. Hardly had the journalist approached the doorway, an unknown man grabbed her by the arm and dragged her to his car. The freelancer managed to film the moment of her being detained as well as her being taken to a police station.
The journalist was driven to Leninski district police department in a private (not police) car; during the ride the driver failed to introduce himself. Only after they got to the police station, he gave his name and position. He informed Skrabunova that an administrative case for ‘involving in illegal production and distribution of media products’.
“This man did not look like a policeman, his appearance behaviour were far from the police’s. He had no reason to grab me or pull my arm. He could just give me a summons, but he inexplicably decided to make an exhibition of himself. I had his name – Ruslan Marozau, a senior policeman – only in the police department. The other man in civvies refused to introduce himself at all. He prevented me from filming during the arrest and then just disappeared.”
Moreover, policemen came to the journalist’s place at the weekend, but she was away.
“My under-age nephew was at home at that moment; he called me and said that someone had put his hand over the peephole, was kicking the door, trying to open the lock and turning the handle. It happened at 22.00. It was like a robbery. I was about to call the police but the police phoned me. Senior district police officer Dzmitry Homanau asked where I was, I answered that I was in the town of Turau. He told me that it would be easy to trace my location with the help of mobile operators,” Skrabunova added.
Another freelance journalist from Mahiliou, cameraman Yauhen Hlushkou, also came to the attention of the authorities. On Saturday, he was summoned by the police.
The two freelancers will have to appear at Leninski district police department on May 23. They are expected to get familiar with the administrative case opened against them for alleged illegal production and distribution of media production. The case is their contributing to the news story about he eviction of residents in Zaslonau Street in Mogilev. It was televised on Belsat TV on April 4.