Minsk: Culture expert Yuliya Charnyauskaya released from house arrest

Yuliya Charnyauskaya, a Belarusian cultural studies scholar and the widow of popular Belarusian news portal TUT.BY founder Yury Zisser, has been released from house arrest. She has not been allowed to leave her flat for nearly nine months.

Yuliya Charnyauskaya. Photo: reform.by

‘Yuliya is back,’ her mother Alyaksandra Charnyauskaya wrote on Facebook on January 13. A number of sources have confirmed to Zerkalo.io that the post implies that Yuliya Charnyauskaya is free.

Freedom of speech locked up: How many Belarusian media workers are now behind bars?

On 18 May 2021, Belarusian security officers descended upon TUT.BY offices across the couuntry, as well as to editors’ places. According to the official information, a criminal case was launched against TUTBY Media company officials under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code (‘large-scale tax evasion’). A dozen persons were detained as part of the criminal case opened against TUTBY Media company, including TUT.BY editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava.

On the same day, the well-known Belarusian cultural studies scholar Yuliya Charnyauskaya.was taken to the reception room of Minsk clinical hospital Nr 1; a police officer was keeping a close watch on her even there. Then the woman, who went through through a hypertensive crisis, was discharged; the police escorted her. For two days, her whereabouts was unknown; on May 20, she was reported to have been interrogated by the Department of Financial Investigations and then placed under house arrest.

In late May, a charge was brought against Yuliya Charnyauskaya. However, it is unknown under which article she is accused; as Yuliya’s defence lawyer had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, she is not allowed to inform even the closest relatives of the aspects of the case.

12 persons linked to TUTBY Media are still behind bars.

Popular media outlet TUT.BY in crosshairs: Raids on offices, journos’ homes, website blocked