Brest: Journalists Detained while Implementing Professional Duties

2008 2008-03-11T19:31:35+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A group of independent correspondents spent 5 hours in a police department. Besides a colonel, ideological officers of Brest oblast executive committee spoke with them.

The journalists were elucidating the activity of Muslim community in Brest. Ten minutes after the shooting began behind a dwelling house on Heroyam Abarony Street, two police officers came up. They explained their visit to the remote site with a telephone call of dwellers of house #74. Allegedly, they were concerned that unauthorized shooting with Chechens was organized, Bulletinonline reports.

The Leninski district police department referred to the fact the correspondents had no accreditation. They didn’t listen that an operator was an individual entrepreneur and had right to shoot on legal grounds.

‘It is an absurd situation’, human rights activist Uladzimir Vialichkin explained. ‘The police officers acted unlawfully, beginning with detention up to 5 (!) hours and ending with drawing the violation reports. It was another awkward attempt to fish some compromising information out of them.

The reporters had a meeting with representatives of some departments of Brest OEC: one on religions and nationalities, press and media and ideological department. The officials interested whom for and what purpose with the material was shot. By the way, lawyer Raman Kisliak wasn’t allowed to the meeting. The officials said his presence is prohibited before trial.

A report on refusal to give evidence on the situation was drawn up against the operator, and 2 miniDV cassettes were seized.