Nasha Niva chief editor suspected of libel over article about deputy minister’s beating detainees

Yahor Martsinovich taken away after search. Photo: Belsat.eu

On September 23 the Interior Ministry’s security department raided the flat of Yahor Martsinovich, editor-in-chief of the Belarusian news portal Nasha Niva (nn.by).

The family lost contact with Yahor Martsinovich when he was walking his dog in the morning. Soon he texted ‘SOS’ to them.

Journalists waiting near Martsinovich’s flat. Photo: Belsat.eu

Later, his wife Adarya Hushtyn said on Facebook that their place was being searched. According to her, the unexpected visit is linked to the work of Nasha Niva. Earlier, the media outlet interviewed Uladz Sakalouski, one of the ‘DJs of change’, who says that a top police official battered and threatened him in the notorious prison in Akrestsin street in Minsk.

When released, Sakalouski identified the attacker as Deputy Interior Minister Alyaksandr Barsukou. Notably, on August 14, Barsukou showed up at the prison to assure the detainees’ relatives who gathered there that no one was beaten or tortured.

After the raid, it became known that Yahor Martsinovich is a suspect in the criminal case opened under Art. 188 (libel). He was taken to the Investigative Committee for questioning and then arrested for three days.

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