Brest policemen were waiting for freelance journalists Milana Kharytonava and Ales Lyauchuk on the pretext of the need to question them. However, the protocols had already been drawn up in advance.
Police major Uladzimir Savva and his colleague Vadzim Sobaleu asked if the journalistic duo had done filming in the village of Azyaty (Zhabinka district) on August, 20.
The officers refused to give explanations and make protocols in Belarusian, although it is one of the official languages in the country. Moreover, they tried to force the journalists to put signatures under their written evidence without making them aware of their rights.
“I’m telling you that I do not remember where I was and what I was doing on August 20, but you write that I was not [in Zhabinka on that day], which is wrong. And I want you to brief me on my rights in Belarusian, and you cannot do this,” Milana Kharytonava said.
Immediately after the questioning, the policemen handed ready-made protocols to them: one for allegedly working without accreditation and making a news item about workers who have been not paid over the past year, and another – for filming in the village where a mass loss of pigs had happened.
It is not the first time that major Savva has hunted for the Belsat TV contributors. In September, the police surrounded the school which Lyauchuk’s daughter attends in order to meet the father. after a parent-teacher night and make a protocol upon him.