Author of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus not released after spending 3 days behind bars

Henadz Mazheika, a journalist of the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus, has not been released from the deteintion centre after spending 72 hours there. Last week he contributed to the article regarding the shootout in Minsk as well as the deaths of security officer Dzmitry Fedasyuk and IT specialist Andrey Zeltsar.

Henadz Mazheyka has probably been taken into custody, but no charges have been brought against him yet.

“Taking into account the fact that he did not leave the detention centre, pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention have been applied,” his lawyer told Sputnik.

The journalist was detained on October 1 in Moscow and taken to Minsk. His apartment was searched as part of the criminal case initiated under Article 130-3 (‘incitement of social hatred’) and Article 369 (‘insulting a representative of authorities’) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.

Henadz Mazheika was the author of the article in which Andrey Zeltsar‘s acquaintance spoke positively about him. After that, the website of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus was blocked by the Lukashenka regime.

News website of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus blocked

The Belarusian special services have been using the tragedy on Yakubouski Street in Minsk as a pretext for stepping up reprisals: during last week’s large-scale operation, they held over 100 persons throughout the country. On September 29-30, detentions took place in Minsk, Homiel, Vitsebsk, Mahiliou, other cities and towns of Belarus. They were detained under criminal articles 369 (‘Insulting a representative of the authorities’) and 130 (‘Inciting social hatred’). Human rights activists believe that the new wave of repression is connected to the people’s discussing the story of Zeltsar and Fedasyuk and ‘leaving offensive comments on social media platforms’.

In accordance with the authorities’ version, Belarusian security officers were conducting a ‘special inspection of the apartments in which people involved in terrorist activities could have been’ on September 28 ; in the course of Tuesday’s KGB raid, two persons were killed on Yakubouski Street in Minsk – KGB officer Dzmitry Fedasyuk and EPAM employee Andrey Zeltsar. The latter resided in the flat to which plainclothed people broke into on that day. If the Investigative Committee’s statement is anything to go by, Zeltsar fired a shotgun at the visitors and injuted one of them; later, the injured died of wounds in hospital. The owner of the apartment was killed as well; his 40-year-old wife Maryia Uspenskaya was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the murder of a KGB officer.

It would be good if the authorities could kill up to 100 persons (i.e. protesters or dissidents) in retaliation for one dead KGB officer, pro-Lukashenka top brass officer Aleh Belakoneu said when attending the farewell ceremony for Fedasyuk.

From Autukhovich to Zeltsar: Belarusians labelled as ‘terrorists’ by Lukashenka regime