Yuliya Hancharova, Spokeswoman for the Belarusian Investigation Committee, has replied with a joke to Tuesday’s statement by journalist Dzmitry Bobryk. The man claims that he was forced to sign documents on cooperation with the secret services.
However, the press officer did not use many words.
“The shortest story is ‘The Investigative Committee Has Recruited’, ” she said on Facebook.
Notably, some people assumed that it was the KGB persons who were talking the man into becoming an informant under the passive eye of the Committee.
As reported earlier, Dzmitry Bobryk wrote that after a three-hour interrogation in the Investigative Committee about the so-called BelTA case on August 7, he signed a cooperation agreement. According to him, there were direct threats to him and his relatives. However, after law enforcers realized they would get no information. their pressure on him intensified, Bobryk claims.
By the moment, there have been hundreds of comments under the post. The majority of people who left their comments expressed support and gratitude for the courageous act.
On August 7, an unprecedented wave of media workers’ arrests started in Belarus.
After Iryna Akulovich, Director of the state-run news agency BelTA, had reported ‘illegal access to their premium content’, the Belarusian Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case under the article ‘unauthorized access to computer information, made out of personal interest, which caused significant harm’. According to the authorities’ version, some employees of the above-mentioned media outlets have used another person’s password and got information owned by the Lukashenka mouthpiece over the past two years.
Tut.by journalists Halina Ulasik, Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina, Ulyana Babayed, Dzmitry Bobryk, Hanna Yermachonak, BelaPAN editors Tatsyana Karavyankova, Iryna Leushyna and Andrey Serada, Deutsche Welle correspondent Paulyuk Bykouski and the Belarusians and Market journalist Alyaksei Zhukau were detained. Later Bobryk, Serada and Babayed were released. As part of the case, four journalists of the property portal realt.by were interrogated.
A few days later, all the journalists were released from custody, but they are still under gag order. All the suspects in the BelTA case are banned from leaving the country.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists called the situation a ‘flagrant violation of freedom of expression and media freedom’. According to the BAJ, the actions of law enforcement agencies were ‘excessive’.