State cracks down on journalists working in Belarus for foreign media

The journalists of the German TV channel ARD film crew detained recently in Minsk have been deprived of their accreditation. Its Russian representatives will be deported from Belarus. A protocol has been filed against the Belarusian representative for his alleged participation in a mass rally. It was also reported that Belarusian journalists working for the BBC, Reuters, Radio Svaboda, AFP and others have been deprived of accreditation.

Photo: Vadzim Zamirouski, TUT.BY

Illya Kuznetsou, as well as Russian citizens Sergey Sergeyev and Mikhail Fomin (all three were accredited by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry as journalists of the ARD TV channel) were detained in Minsk the day before. The journalists spent the night at the police department, they were released only in the morning.

“A protocol under Art. 23.34 which is active participation in the mass action has been filed and I was deprived of accreditation “in order to ensure the information security of the country,” Illya Kuznetsou told TUT.BY.

According to Illya, his Russian colleagues will be deported from Belarus with a ban on returning to the country for five years.

The Russian journalists were picked up by a representative of the Russian embassy. It is not yet known when the trial of Illya Kuznetsou will take place.

The foreign ministry accreditation, which allows to legally work in the country, was also taken away from the BBC journalists Tatyana Melnichuk and Tatyana Yanutsevich.

“The representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called us in the morning, they said that according to the decision of the Interdepartmental Commission on Security in the Information Sphere, accreditation has been canceled from today” Tatyana Melnichuk told TUT.BY. “When asked what I was guilty of, they answered that they were instructed to convey only this information”.

Radio Svaboda informs that by the decision of the same commission its correspondents Ales Dashchynski, Aleh Hruzdzilovich, Uladzimir Hrydzin, Alyaksandra Dynko were deprived of their accreditation.

The list of those whose accreditation were canceled also include Vasil Fyadosenka and Uladzimir Kostsin (Reuters), Syarhei Hapon and Alyaksandr Hrybenkin (AFP), Syarhei Hryts and Yury Karmanau (Associated Press), Henadz Sharypkin (RFI), Raman Vasyukovich (“Present time “).

Let us remind you that the other day it was reported that the famous Swedish photojournalist, winner of World Press Photo Paul Hansen was also deported from Belarus with a ban on entry for five years.

Hansen was detained on 27 August. On that day, more than 50 journalists were detained in Minsk, including the correspondents of TUT.BY. The Belarusian Association of Journalists appealed to the head of the Investigative Committee with a demand to initiate a criminal case for obstructing the lawful professional activity of the journalist.