GAZETA SLONIMSKAYA REPORTERS SUFFERED WHILE ON DUTY
November 21 reporters of the Gazeta Slonimskaya Tatsiana Plakhetka and Volha Shynkevich were beaten when they tried to report about the conflict between the Orthodox believers and clients of the folk medicine séance, carried out by a visiting healer. The healing séance was widely advertised in the town. Parishioners of the Orthodox Seraphim Zhyrovitski Church headed to the place with icons in their hands. They wanted to prevent Slonim residents from communication with “demons”. The parishioners managed to disrupt the healing session. Some of its visitors called to the Gazeta Slonimskaya editorial office, and asked to come, and “see, what’s going on”. Press photographer Tatsiana Plakhetka and reporter Volha Shynkevich managed to take a few pictures of the “demon expulsion” procedure. At that moment they were attacked by women in long dresses, who started to beat the reporters, pull them by hair. The women seized their digital camera and gave it to one of the priests. The priest took the camera, got in a car, and left despite active protests of the reporters. The reporters got their camera back only the next day, with the help of the police. However, all shots where one could see any faces were deleted.
The police of Slonim district board of internal affairs are going to take the camera to Minsk for expert examination. The medical examination of the reporters registered that Tatsiana Plakhetka was in strong shock, and both reporters had numerous bruises.
The police claim they are investigating into the incident. So far they have not made any comments.