Swedish journalists detained in Minsk
A Swedish TV crew was detained in Minsk at
about 6 p.m. on 12 March. Police also detained a Belarusian correspondent of
Russian News Service radio, Uladzimir Chudziantsou,
and a member of the Belarusian Journalists Association (BAJ), Illia Kuzniatsou, who were accompanying a
crew of Sveriges Television (cameraman Sven
Bergmann, correspondent Olav Christopherson
and producer Isabelle Somerfeld).
The journalists planned to film an interview with a
participant of “silent” protests, Raman Pratasevich,
on Nezalezhnasts Square.
“As soon as they started filming, a minivan with policemen appeared. We were ordered to get into the car and taken to the Maskouski District Police Department for document inspection,” Illia Kuzniatsou told the BAJ press service on his way to the police department. He said the foreign journalists had official accreditation in Belarus.
The detainees were unavailable until 8 pm. An officer on duty at the Maskouski DPD told BAJ deputy head Andrei Bastunets “no one has been guarded to the department, but police have every right to detain any person for identity verification”.
Illia Kuzniatsou said after 8 pm all people detained were set free. Policemen wrote down personal data of the journalists and copied the footage they had filmed.