Journalist Andrei Alyaksandrau detained over criminal case

He is in Akrestsin street jail.

His lawyer would not desclose what Alyaksandrau’s status is and what the circumstances of the case are, due to a non-disclosure document.

The journalist and media manager Andrei Alyaksandrau as well as his girlfriend Iryna became unavailable on Tuesday afternoon, January 12.

Alyaksandrau’s apartment was not sealed and his neighbors were not at home on the morning of January 13. Employees of the first floor offices of the building say they did not see any unusual activity of law enforcers.

Akrestsina detention center, December 2020. Photo: Belsat

Andrei’s girlfriend, who has been unavailable since yesterday, was found in Minsk detention center in Akrestsina street, BelaPAN added.

Andrei Alyaksandrau was born in 1978 in Nizhni Tagil. He spent his childhood in Pastavy, where he finished high school. He graduated from the department of history and philology of Polatsk State University. He later earned a master’s degree in media management at Westminster University in London. In 2009-2012 he was deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. He was a member of the international organizations like Index on Censorship and Article 19. In 2015-2018 he was deputy director of BelaPAN news agency.

“The authorities continue criminal prosecution of journalists. While last year the main form of repression was detentions and administrative trials, now the machine of criminal cases is thrown against journalists,” says BAJ representative Barys Haretski. “Colleagues knew nothing for almost a day about the fate of the well-known journalist and media manager Andrei Alyaksandrau. As a result, his colleague was found at the police station, but the investigators did not report why he was detained and what criminal case he was part of. In fact, the investigators say that the journalist was kept in custody for almost a day without the possibility to use his right to legal defense. He was kept secret from the society. The circumstances of this case are still unknown, but the scale of repressions against the journalists is unprecedented, with nine of them behind bars already. The impression is that the authorities want to create an atmosphere of maximum fear so that journalists and editors are constantly under this pressure and shape their information policy, thinking every day about the possibility of being detained.”