Apartment of Mahiliou journalist Ihar Barysau and the office of Mahiliou “Viasna” branch searched by police
The police have searched the apartment of a Mahiliou journalist, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), Ihar Barysau.
The formal reason for the search is initiation of criminal proceedings under article 188, "defamation in a public statement, or in the media", against the journalist.
As reported by Mr. Barysau, the search was conducted in the framework of a criminal case opened under Part 2 of Article 188 of the Criminal Code: "Defamation, contained in a public speech or in printed or publicly performed work, either in the media or accompanied by accusations of committing serious or particularly serious crime, is punishable by a fine, or correctional labor for up to two years, or imprisonment for up to six months, or restraint of liberty for up to three years".
Ihar's wife, Alena, reported that the apartment was visited by five policemen with a search warrant, together with invited witnesses. Representatives of independent media and human rights defenders are waiting near the apartment. They aren't let inside. As a result of the search the police seized three computers, a modem and Ihar's notebooks.
Later the police started examining the office of the Mahiliou regional branch of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” within the framework of the criminal case.
As reported by human rights activist Barys Bukhel, the inspection was held by the same five policemen. Three computers and a modem were seized as a result.