Belarusian law enforcement carry out detentions at Belsat studio in Minsk
On the afternoon of May 21, the independent television channel Belsat reported that security officers had broken into their studio in Minsk.
The officers detained a number of support staff, including a sound engineer, four cameramen, and the studio administrator. The detainees were taken to the notorious Okrestina Street remand prison. Belsat is still seeking clarification on the reason for the arrests.
On February 18, a Minsk court sentenced Belsat journalists Darya Chultsova and Katsyaryna Andreyeva to two years in prison. They were found guilty of organizing unauthorized protests, due to the fact that they ran a live stream reporting on an opposition rally.
On May 18, the Belarusian authorities announced the launch of a criminal case against the leadership of the independent media outlet Tut.by on charges of large-scale tax evasion. Its website was blocked and law enforcement raided Tut.by’s newsroom, as well as the homes of the outlet’s employees. As of May 20, at least 14 Tut.by employees were still in custody. On May 21, Tut.by reported that 11 of the detainees had been declared suspects in the criminal case.