Raid on Press Club Belarus: Its founder Yuliya Slutskaya detained, searches underway

Yuliya Slutskaya. Photo: Press Club Belarus

On Tuesday, Yuliya Slutskaya, the founder of the Press Club Belarus media organisation, has been detained at the airport upon her arrival in Minsk and taken to the Department of Financial Investigations.

The police are searching the apartments of Press Club programming director Ala Sharko and director Syarhei Alsheuski, the Belarusian Association of Journalists reports. The officers are also raiding the home of Press Club Academy director Syarhei Yakupau, the office of the independent organisation, and Slutskaya’s apartment in Minsk.

Founded by editors of independent Belarusian media, Press Club Belarus was set up in 2011. It belongs to the International Association of Press Clubs. The IAPC’s main aim is to increase opportunities for journalists and support access to free media. Press Club Belarus delivers trainings and master classes for journalists, monitors the work of Belarusian media outlets, contributes to promoting media literacy and presspeople’s professional development.

(UPD at 7 pm) The Department of Financial Investigations is running a check on the fact of alleged tax violations by Press Club Belarus, state-run news agency BelTA reports with reference to the State Control Committee.

As reported earlier, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey announced limiting the activities of a number of foundations in Belarus and reviewing their humanitarian, educational and cultural programs in the wake of the third package of sanctions imposed on Belarusian officials by the European Union. It is known that Press Club Belarus launched a number of its educational programs in cooperation with the embassies of several EU member states.

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