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Statement of the Belarusian Green Party on the detention of journalists and media disruption

On August 7 and 8, editorial offices of the independent information agency BelaPan, the largest information portal TUT.BY and the newspaper “Since” were searched by the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus. Six journalists and editors were detained.

Some of them remain in detention, their apartments have been searched. Personal and editorial equipment have been seized.

On August 8, journalists Pavlyuk  Bykovsky, Olga Bykovskaya, Alexei Zhukov and the editorial office of Realt.by have been searched.  Four journalists of Realt.by were detained, as well as editor of the website "Belarus and the Market" Alexei Zhukov.

The Investigative Committee explains searches and detentions by the institution of a criminal case under Part 2 of Art. 349 of the Criminal Code (unauthorized access to computer information, made from other personal interests, which caused significant harm).

Journalists are suspected of unauthorized access to the paid version of the informational tape of the state enterprise "Belarusian Telegraph Agency".

The Belarusian Green Party expresses solidarity with the detained and pressurized journalists and media.

We find the actions of law enforcement bodies excessive and unjustified. Such a case can be investigated without detaining journalists and interfering in the work of editorial offices.

We consider what is happening to be a gross violation of freedom of speech and obstacle to work of media.

We demand the release of detained journalists and a transparent and public investigation of the case.

We call on all our Green colleagues and the broad international community to voice their strongest opposition to such illegal actions and to support detained journalists.

Belarusian Green Party