Journalists detained in Minsk
Aleh Hruzdzilovich, journalist of Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe’s Belarus service, and Siarhei Satsiuk, cameraman of the BelaPAN news agency, were detained this morning while covering a protest staged by a public initiative “Against Lawlessness in the Courts and the Prosecutor’s Office” in Minsk’s Independence Square, outside the House of Government building where President Lukashenka is expected to address the Parliament today, RFE/RL reports.
Aleh Hruzdzilovich was taken to the police department after he photographed the building of the Chamber of Representatives, which according to the policemen is a security facility.
Siarhei Satsiuk told on the phone that at about 10.15 he was asked to go into a police car. He is now in police custody - most likely, in Maskouski district department. The cameraman believes that he will be taken to the police station, where the video footage he has made today will be viewed.
Earlier today, a few elderly women staged a picket outside the Chamber of Representatives, holding copies of the Constitution in their hands. Security officers forced them to leave the Square.
According to one of the organizers of the picket, human rights activist Tamara Siarhei, 20 people gathered in central Minsk this morning. They planned to meet with President Lukashenka and give him a petition against lawlessness in the courts and the prosecutor’s office, signed by 30 people. However, people in civilian clothes stopped the picket.