In the evening of January 14 the apartment of Siarhei Niarouny, editor-in-chief of Krychau newspaper Volny Horad, was searched.
Police came to the journalist to examine his apartment. Krychau district prosecutor Lieanid Palievich signed the search warrant. The official reason for the search was a photo, posted in one of the telegram channels, of a group of local residents standing with a white-red-white flag in front of the district executive committee. Among the six protesters standing with a huge white-red-white flag in front of the district executive committee, the police saw a man who looked like Niarouny.
The photo was allegedly taken in the afternoon of January 13. Syarhei Niarouny considers it a photoshop.
About two hours employees of Krychau police department Eduard Krautsou and Syarhei Yahorau were examining Niarouny’s apartment. According to the journalist, they behaved in a lawful manner.
As a result, the policemen took away Niarouny’s computer “for examination”, although he didn’t give his consent. The examination is to take place within a month. The policemen didn’t leave any document about the seizure of the equipment. The journalist plans to write a complaint about it.
Also, law enforcement officers told Niarouny that administrative proceedings under Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences for violation of the order of organizing and holding a mass action were started against him.
The journalist believes that the reason for the detention could have been the fact that the local authorities are concerned about the “partisan” actions in the area.
“They can’t catch anyone. After the summer actions, they “designated” me the leader. The police told me more than once that they think I’m the coordinator, but there’s no proof. Most likely they made this provocation, stuck my face in and gave them a reason to make an administrative case and conduct an inspection, as a result of which they would take away my computer. The computer, most likely, will be searched for money, connections with Tsikhanouskaya, telegram channels and local partisan activity,” said Syarhei Niarouny in his commentary to belsat.eu.
He sees the second purpose of the search as additional intimidation of Krychau activists. At the same time, the journalist sees nothing illegal in the action itself, even if it did take place.
The policemen also left Niarouny their phone number to call in case he would suspect someone of “setting him up with this photo”. The journalist is not going to do it.