The Brest police have failed to find any harm in comments made by unknown users on a local news website. According to journalist Ales Lyauchuk, they, however, violate the law of Belarus.
On October 9, 2017 the article ‘Nay To Brest Resident Who Asked to Remove Russian Flags From Bus’ was published on virtualbrest.by, In the comments below the article, some person stated the Belarusians would be not against a referendum on joining Russia. According to another comment, 90% of Belarusians dream of such referendum, while 100% consider Vladimir Putin their president.
Lyauchuk reported the situation to Maskouski district police department of Brest demanding to identify commentators and hold them liable under Article 361 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.
In their response, the police refer to Article 33 of the Constitution of Belarus, which ensures freedom of expression.
“Police officer Syarhei Boyka is responsible for the case. He had been avoiding talking to me for a month. He did not even capture the essence of my complaint. No work has been carried out at all. Later, they gave a run-around reply. I believe that the police have completely forgotten about their duties. However, they continue to persecute Belarusian patriots and independent journalists while pro-Russian forces feel at home in Belarus under the passive eye of our security forces. This is a very dangerous situation that can have very dire consequences,” the journalist told Belsat.