Cellular phone of a Charter-97 officer blocked before the Day of Solidarity
On 15 October the mobile operator Velcom blocked the SIM card of the mobile phone owned by Natallia Radzina, an officer of the press service of the civil initiative Charter-97. The company said this had been done on the order of the security department of the company. The phone was only switched back on on Monday, 17 October.
The phone was switched off without warning, though the subscriber had enough money on her mobile account. Velcom operators said they could not disclose the reasons for the blocking.
The day before the journalist sent out sms messages calling on the receivers to take part in the Day of Solidarity on 16 October. According to the Charter, the message was also received by the officers of the press services of the Interior Ministry, KGB and the Main Board of Internal Affairs and others.
"This happens to many journalists and opposition activists on some of the "hottest days", when cellular communications is absolutely necessary", commented Natallia Radzina on this incident, - the Belarusians almost lost access to the independent media, and now they attempt to put the Internet under control and now try to deprive of the telephone communications".