Friday, August 28, 2020

Roundup of journalists covering protests, some are to leave the country

Screen capture: NBC News

A roundup of journalists covering Belarusian (we purposefully omitted that in the title) protests took place yesterday. 

At least 270 people were arrested by the police on Thursday evening during a protest in the center of Minsk, Wiasna center reported. There were at least 39 journalists among the detained, the Independent Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported. Some of the detained correspondents of foreign media have been banned from entering Belarus and have only a few days to leave the country.

Arrests in Minsk took place in two locations - on Freedom Square, where the police mainly looked for journalists, and on Independence Square - where at least 257 people were detained.

BAJ announced that they knew the names of 39 detained journalists, but there could have been around 50 of them in total. Formally, the police argued, the reporters were not arrested, but only brought to the police station to check documents and the legality of work in Belarus. However, at least two people - Kaciaryna Andrejewa and Maksim Kalitouski working for Belsat TV, were to be sent to the Minsk jail.

Among arrested were journalists for Polish TVN, Belsat TV (Polish satellite television channel aimed at Belarus), journalists from all independent Belarusian media and a number of foreign networks including: BBC, Reuters, AP, Sputnik, Komsomolska Pravda and others.