Russian journalists arrested and deported from Belarus
An NTV film crew was shooting a film in Minsk about the disappeared politicians.
Aleksey Malkov and Yury Babenko were detained on August 14 in the hotel of the International Education Center (IBB) where they had stayed.
As the website www.charter97.org learnt that officers of secret services in mufti got the journalists out of the room at 7:00 p.m. The people signed Malkov and Babenko out. According to the preliminary information, the journalists were guarded to the Maskouski district militia department.
The NTV journalists interviewed Zinaida Hanchar, the wife of kidnapped vice speaker of the Supreme Council of Belarus Viktar Hanchar, and Volha Zavadskaya, mother of the disappeared journalist Zmitser Zavadski.
The detained journalists were accused of acting without accreditation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.
On August 15 at night, the film crew was taken to a Minsk airport and made to leave Belarus.
According to the law, the next sanctions can be applied to the journalists: drawing up a report, confiscation of equipment, and ban to enter the country for 5 years. It is still unknown which measure was applied to the NTV journalists.
We remind that it is not the first case when Russian journalists have been expelled from Belarus. In 2003, head of the NTV news office in Belarus Pavel Selin was deported from the country for critical reports about the Belarusian authorities. He was banned to enter Belarus for 5 years. In 1996, NTV journalist Alexander Stupnikov was expelled on the same ground.