Journalists waging information war on Belarus police – Interior Minister

An information war is being pursued against the Belarusian police, Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich said Tuesday at a press conference in Minsk.

“The police do not look helpless. The case i that a number of journalists cast them in such light,” the Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva quotes the minister as saying.

At the same time, Belarusian law enforcers somewhat changed their attitude towards unsanctioned rallies, Shunevich stressed.

“Both foreign and domestic rhetoric has changed. We agreed on an acceptable algorithm of actions,” the minister said. From now, they will focus on drawing up administrative reports and sending them to court.

Read also: Protest action. Belarus entrepreneurs shield opposition leader from police (video)

Ihar Shunevich also told journalists that about 140 Belarusians are taking part in the fighting in Ukraine.

“We have a list of people who, accoding to our information, are in the zone of the armed conflict in Ukraine and are participating in the fighting in one form or another, at one or the other side of the conflict. The names of about 140 people are put on the list,” he said.

The legal assessment of their actions will be made by investigators, the minister added.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been several high-profile scandals for the Belarusian police. In January, journalist Pavel Dabravolski who was covering the ‘graffiti case’ was beaten by plain-clothed police officers in the building of a court in Minsk . In Brest region, a road police officer insulted a driver saying ‘F*ck you’ but remained unpunished.

In early February, Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka reiterated that the country’s law enforcement agencies should do their best to improve their public image and strive for being liked by citizens.

Read also: ‘Polite people’: How Minsk police prevent Belarus journos from working (video), following BelTA

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