Statement by Radio Racyja on detention of journalists
The Belarusian Radio Racyja expresses its protest at the detention of two journalists.
Our journalists Henadz Barbarych and Aliaksandr Yarashevich were detained on 26 April in Minsk, while performing their professional duties. They were covering a sanctioned event, Chernobyl Way – 2013. The journalists were detained by the police following the event and taken to the police department of Minsk Savetski District. At about 11 p.m., the journalists were taken to the center of delinquents’ isolation located in Akrestsin Street. In the morning of 27 April, the prison administration refused to accept a parcel for the detained journalists.
According to our information, the journalists were charged under Article 22.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences, “resisting legitimate demands by law enforcement employees.” Henadz Barbarych and Aliaksandr Yarashevich are expected to stand trial on Monday, 29 April.
The Belarusian Radio Racyja is an independent mass media, spreading unbiased and true information. The journalists of our Radio have repeatedly faced obstacles in their work, been subjected to harassment, many of them have been warned by the prosecuting authorities and the KGB for their activities on the territory of Belarus without accreditation. We would like to stress that the Belarusian Radio Racyja has repeatedly applied for accreditation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, we keep receiving denials.
We believe that violation of the right to freely seek and impart information is inacceptable. We demand to immediately release journalists Henadz Barbarych and Aliaksandr Yarashevich. We call on all mass media, pro-democratic political parties and organizations, as well as individuals, to express their solidarity with our detained colleagues.
Jauhen Wapa, chairman of the Belarusian Radio Racyja office