Iryna Leushyna’s being in custody has been extended for two months, until December 18, naviny.by reports with reference to her daughter Hanna.
Former BelaPAN director Dzmitry Navazhylau has not been released as well. However, there is no official information about the extension of his arrest yet.
Iryna Leushyna, Dzmitry Navazhylau, and accountant Katsyaryna Boyeva were detained under criminal proceedings for ‘organisation or preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’ (Art.342 of the Criminal Code) on August 18 on the back of the raids on the editorial office and flats of BelaPAN journalists. On August 27, Katsyaryna Boyeva was released on her recognizance to appear, but she still remains a suspect.
In September, BelaPAN director Iryna Leushyna and former director Dzmitry Navazhylau were accused of tax evasion (Article 243-2 of the Criminal Code). If found guilty under this article, one may be sentenced to up to 5 years of restriction of liberty or 3 to 7 years in jail.
The Belarusian human rights community recognised Leushyna and Navazhylau as political prisoners.
BelaPAN is the first independent Belarusian news agency, it was founded in 1991. The agency sells news to other publications and institutions and runs the online newspaper Naviny.by.