Former state TV employees who went on strike in August summoned for questioning

Former employees of the state channel ONT, who went on strike near the building of ONT and STV, are summoned for questioning by the Investigative Committee, the human rights activists of the Vyasna center report.

ONT and STV employees on strike. 17 August 2020. Minsk, Belarus. Photo: Sveta Far / /

Several former employees of the ONT TV channel reported that on June 24 and 25, the Investigative Committee began calling them on cell phones and inviting them to questioning as witnesses in an unnamed criminal case. Some of them received summonses by mail.

All in all, there are about two dozen such summonses to the Investigative Committee.

Strike of the ONT and STB employees. 17 August 2020. Photo: Sveta Far / /

Some of the ex-employees have already been questioned. They have been asked to sign a non-disclosure pledge.

ONT ex-employees estimate that after August 9, about 80 people left the channel, including those who had cooperated with it on a freelance basis.

Given that fewer than 300 people were working at the channel, approximately one in three quit. Former ONT employees claim that most of the journalists left voluntarily.

Employees of the state TV channels went on strike on August 17, 2020, to call for an end to the violence and show the real events in Belarus after August 9.

At that time, several hundred employees and ordinary people gathered in front of the ONT and Belteleradiocompany buildings to support them.

The employees wanted to talk with the head of BT, Ivan Eismant, but he never came out to the protesters.