On Wednesday, the local police have detained Andrey Pavuk, a well-known Belarusian blogger residing in Aktsyabrski urban-type village (Homiel region).
According to them, someone used Pavuk’s computer and e-mail to send false information about mining the building of the district executive committee.
“They may be initiating a criminal case, as part of which a search will be conducted. I am going to visit the Directorate of Interior; perhaps, I will have the opportunity to get the particulars of the case,” the blogger’s wife Volha Pavuk told Belsat TV.
At 13.00 investigators started searching the flat of the Pavuk family:
Publiée par Оля Паук sur Mercredi 20 mars 2019
In 2018, Pavuk, who became popular due to his reports about local authorities’ activities, was detained for cooperation with Belsat. Judge Lyudmila Harmash imposed a fine of 735 rubles (appr. $369) on him for alleged illegal production and distribution of media products. It was the news item aired on Belsat TV that gave the ground for opening an administrative case against the man. In fact, Belsat TV told the story of the blogger who was wearing a T-shirt bearing the images of two local officials and the inscription They Love You.
Interestingly, Andrei Pavuk’s part was just asking the residents of Aktsyabrski whether it was offensive to wear images of officials, in particular Uladzimir Yeliseyeu and Valyantsina Shlapakova, on clothes and posting the video interview on Youtube.
Belarusian human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka helped the blogger make the complaint to the UN committee. In the appeal, the men stressed that Pavuk was barred from participating in closed meeting the local authorities held over his case. According to the blogger, the right to receive and disseminate information is violated in the country; the Belarusian courts do not defend the rights of citizens.
Several Belarusian bloggers who are outspokenly critical of Lukashenka’s regime on social media have repeatedly experienced pressure from the authorities.