The officers of the Main Department for Combatting Organised Crime and Corruption (notorious GUBOPiK/GUBAZiK) set two choices before Zmitser Salauyou, the editor-in-chief of non-state media outlet 6tv.by.
They demanded the work of the news resource be stopped; in the contrary case, he would be prosecuted under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation of actions that grossly violate public order’), they warned.
On July 14, the editorial office of 6tv.by was raided. The security officers confiscated their equipment, and the editor-in-chief Zmitser Salauyou was summoned to the 11th department of GUBAZiK. The officers strongly suggested Salauyou close down the website. According to them, a criminal case would be initiated against him in case of his refusal; some of is colleagues were threatened with criminal prosecution for ‘inciting social hatred’ over their making and posting videos about the work of the Belarusian police on 6tv.by.
On the back of the interrogation, part of the video content was removed, in particular, The Summons Show a joint project of 6tv.by and human rights centre Viasna, in which Mahiliou-based human rights activists participated. Some broadcasts by journalist Alyaksandr Burakou are also unavailable now.
Taking the threats into account, part of 6tv.by editorial office left Belarus, including the editor-in-chief; they are not going to terminate the portal’s work.
According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), 63 searches have been carried out in the editorial offices and apartments of Belarusian journalists over the past ten days.
Eight media workers who have been detained in July remain behind bars: