Mahiliou: Pressure on independent journalists continues

On May 23, journalists Alina Skrabunova and Yauhen Hlushkou were questioned Leninski district police department of Mahiliou. Protocols were drawn upon them under Art. 22.9 of the Administrative Code for the illegal production of media products.

The freelancers are accused of contributing to Belsat TV. According to the local police, Hlushkou and Skrabunova made two news stories and and delivered them to our channel.

“Today they interrogated me only of the story about the eviction; as for the issue of Shklou, they have summoned me one more time. Hlushkou answered their questions on two stories. I have filed two complaints against the actions by local policemen. I asked Head of the police department to explain what was the reason for their behaviour when on 21 May two plainclothes policemen grabbed me near my block of flats took to the police station in their own car without any explanation – there they only gave me a summons,” Alina Skrabunova said.

The actions of police officers who were trying to get into her flat at 22.00 became the matter for the second complaint.

Her colleagues sent written appeals to Mahiliou City Executive Committee, the regional executive committee and the local department of Internal Affairs.

“We, members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, are protesting against the unreasonable abuse of our colleague. We consider the police’s way of her detention nothing but an attempt to intimidate the journalistic community, and we believe it necessary to state that it is inadmissible for a rule-of-law, democratic country,” the appeal reads.

The journalists asked the authorities to bring to justice the officers who took the decision to detain Skrabunova as well as those who fulfilled the order.

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