Dozens of journalists gathered Wednesday outside a police station in the capital of Belarus to protest the detention of coworkers covering a protest against the country’s authoritarian president and an election that the opposition sees as rigged.
Police arrested several journalists out of Belarusian news outlets Tuesday on charges of participating in an unsanctioned demonstration. They can get fines or prison sentences of up to 15 days if charged and convicted.
“We’re seeing the lawless act of law enforcement agencies, that can be muzzling journalists without even bothering about approaches,” Olga Loiko, a journalist with Belarus’ popular online news outlet tut.by.
On Wednesday, authorities arrested her colleague Vadim Zamirovsky, a photographer with tut.by. He told The Associated Press he had been released after police officers threw him into a van, then beat him up and checked his ID and media card.
Since it attempts to quell months of anti-government protests prompted by official outcomes that gave President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth semester with 80 percent of their vote, his administration also has revoked the certification of several Belarusian supporters and deported some overseas journalists.
Additionally, the AP’s Belarusian journalists were advised by the authorities that their media credentials were revoked.
American and European Union officials have strongly condemned the targeting of the social press in Belarus.
During Tuesday’s demonstration, hundreds of students marched throughout the town, chanting for Lukashenko to”Proceed” As they lasted a fourth consecutive week of mass post-election protests.
The Interior Ministry stated 128 people were arrested throughout the nation Tuesday for taking part in unsanctioned demonstrations, such as 95 from the capital, Minsk. It started Wednesday that 39 of these detainees remained in custody pending court hearings.
From Wednesday evening, similar person chains popped up throughout Minsk, with tens of thousands of people joining in to express solidarity with arrested protesters.
Viasna human rights center said authorities arrested 17 participants in Wednesday’s protest.
Belarusian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation of the Coordination Council which resistance activists set up following the election to attempt and negotiate a glimpse of power. Last week, two of its members had been awarded 10-day prison sentences on charges of staging unsanctioned protests, and many others were summoned for questioning.
His death came a day after the Belarusian president cautioned Latushko had crossed a”red line” and could face prosecution.
Latushko told The Associated Press he intends to come back to Belarus after this month after attending a seminar in Poland and also seeing Lithuania.
“I have not violated the law,” he explained in a phone interview from Poland. “The dilemma is that the laws and constitution no longer function in Belarus. It is odd to listen to the president make fees which may only be produced in court.”
Lukashenko, who has conducted the ex-Soviet state of 9.5 million with an iron fist for 26 decades, has disregarded protesters as Western puppets.
America and the European Union have criticized that the Aug. 9 presidential elections as neither free nor fair and advocated the Belarusian government to take part in a dialogue with the resistance. Lukashenko has disregarded the West’s input signal.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Wednesday the U.S. and its European partners” are collectively previewing important targeted sanctions on anybody involved with human rights abuses and oppression.”
Facing Western stress, Lukashenko has pledged to cement ties with Russia. President Vladimir Putin said last week that he stands ready to send police to Belarus in Lukashenko’s petition when the demonstrations turn violent.
During a trip to Moscow on Wednesday, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei thanked Russia for encouraging the Belarusian authorities in the face of what he described as protests orchestrated from overseas.