Belsat journos covering picket in Zhodzina taken to police station


On June 5, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya‘s initiative group collected signatures for her nominating a presidential candidate in the town of Zhodzina. A Belsat TV crew started livestreaming the event at 15.30.

Collecting signatures for Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Photo: Vasil Malchanau / Belsat

Dozens of people showed up at Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s pre-election picket in Zhodzina; as every citizen has the right to sign for several presidential contenders, many supported Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsapkala whose nomination groups were also present.

A number of interviewees told journalists they were looking forward to ‘meaningful change’ in the country.

However, when Belsat journalist Halina Abakunchyk and cameraman Syarhei Kavaliou were leaving the town, the traffic police stopped their car. According to our contributors, security forces had been keeping watch on them during and after the picket.

Police detain Belsat TV crew in Zhodzina

The crew was taken to Zhodzina district police department. However, the police officers refused to provide any information about the detention of our colleagues or give any reason for that.

(UPD) Abakunchyk and Kavaliou had to spend three hours in the police station before the release; the police gave their equipment and telephones back to them. A protocol was drawn upon the duo under Art. 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offences (illegal production and distribusion of media products).

Police seize phones, camera from Belsat crew after livestreaming