Andrei Sannikau’s wife searched at Minsk airport

2010 2010-12-06T17:14:07+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Andrei Sannikau’s wife searched at Minsk airport

Journalist Iryna Khalip, the wife of Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau, was detained at the Minsk-2 airport on 4 December night on her way from Budapest, where she had received a diploma of the Central European Initiative for her contribution in investigative journalism.

The border guards seized her passport and searched the luggage without offering any explanations.

’I called to the hot line of the State Border Committee and demanded to tell me the reason for the detention. The reply was usual: ‘You understand everything yourself.’ I said I didn’t understand anything and desired explanations. They told I should address the General Prosecutor’s Office. It’s rather cynic, because I could apply to the General Prosecutor’s Office only on Monday; that fact was confirmed by an officer on duty at the Border Committee. He told a profound search would be conducted, but he refused to say the reason. Iryna said if the officers were looking for information storage devices, she didn’t any of them. Then they said clearly they were looking for money. We have informed the OSCE mission about this incident,” presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau said.

The journalist had to spend two hours at the airport. Officers of customs service and border committee carried out a narrow search looking for money. They became happy when they found 500 Russian rubles in the woman’s wallet.

‘They decided they had found the money to make the revolution. On the whole, they are right. 500 rubes are enough for us to make a revolution. They didn’t apologize. They just said they were performing the order, but felt embarrassed and asked if there was a hope for changes,’ commented Iryna.