‘Preventive talk’: Brest police in search of Belsat TV journo who had to leave Belarus two months ago

An officer of Maskouski police department of Brest is looking for Belsat TV contributor Ales Lyauchuk in order to conduct a so called preventive conversation with him.

Ales Lyauchuk in prison truck. Brest, 25 March 2021. Photo: Belsat

“I don’t know what the conversation might be like, but I know that after such ‘conversations’ people were often locked up in a detention centres and remand prisones for many months. I haven’t been to Belarus since July and I do not fully understand what he is talking about,” Lyauchuk told Belsat.

Amid the post-election protests in October 2020, journalists Ales Lyauchuk and Milana Kharytonava were grabbed by the riot police in the centre of Brest. Milana spent three days in the detention centre; her husband was hospitalised. The police officers failed to explain to the media workers what they had violated and why they were detained.

Over the past year, the Brest-based crew has been detained at least three times, their equipment has been seized.

In July 2021, Lyauchuk, Kharytonava and their 13-year-old daughter went on vacation. When they were away, their and their relatives’ apartments were searched by the notorious GUBOPiK/GUBAZiK (Main Department for Combattiong Organised Crime and Corruption). Then the duo learned that they became defendants in a criminal case. In light of the information received, they decided not to return to Belarus. The Lyauchuk family hopes their daughter will be able to continue her education in Poland.

Family of journalists forced to leave Belarus under pressure from authorities