Yahor Martsinovich, the editor-in-chief of popular Belarusian media outlet Nasha Niva, and its editorial director Andrey Dynko are suspects under Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation or preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or participation in them).
Security officers have detained the editors for 72 hours; they are to be taken to the detention centre in Akrestsin Street.
On Thursday, alarming information about a raid on Nasha Niva appeared. Searches took place in their Minsk office as well as in the apartments of employees – both journalists and accountants. Their news website, nn.by, has been blocked on the back of today’s decision by the Belarusian Ministry of Information.
Since early morning, Belsat TV has been getting reports about persecuting independent media from various cities and towns of Belarus.
According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), under the guise of fighting extremism, the authorities are trying to destroy the Belarusian independent newspapers. The organisation demands to stop the crackdown of free speech in Belarus.
“The result of repression against independent media and journalists will be the opposite of what its initiators hope for. Instead of verified information presented under the standards of journalism ethics, people will seek and obtain information that does not meet even the minimal professional standards,” the statement reads.