Ukraine, Kiev-Belarus authorities blocked major online media websites, detained some journalists, and conducted a search on Thursday involving three other media organizations. ..
The Belarusian Ministry of Information said the public prosecutor’s office blocked Nasha Niva’s website for posting unspecified illegal information.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) said authorities searched Nasha Niva’s office, detaining editor-in-chief Yahor Martsinovich and editor Andrey Skurko, and searching their apartments. According to BAJ, the other four Nasha Niva journalists could not be contacted.
The Belarusian National Directorate of Security agent is the Soviet-era name KGB, which was searched in two regional media on Thursday. Brest Gazette and Intex Press in the city of Brest on the border with Poland. Baranovic city.
In the city of Orsha in eastern Belarus, authorities have detained Ihar Kazmerchak, editor of the Orsha.eu news portal, and searched for the apartment of photographer Dzyanis Dubkou.
Nasha Niva journalist Аrtsem Harbatsevich likened the crackdown to the authorities’ previous actions against another top independent news portal, Tut.by.
“It’s a crackdown on the editorial office in the worst Soviet tradition,” Harbatsevich told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Minsk.
Founded in 1906, Nasha Niva is the oldest and most prestigious Belarusian media. Its online audience is over 100,000.
Both Nasha Niva and Tut.by have extensively covered months of protests against Belarusian authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Authorities responded to the demonstration with a large-scale crackdown in which more than 35,000 people were arrested and thousands were beaten by police. Major opposition figures have been imprisoned or forced to leave the country.
Sviatlana Tsukhanouskaya, a major opposition candidate in the election, fled the country after voting under official pressure. She urged Belarusians on Thursday to subscribe to media channels with popular messaging apps to support independent media.
“The administration is so afraid of the truth that it blocks all independent media, refuses to be recognized as a foreign journalist, closes the editorial office, blocks editorials, and puts editors behind the bar. “I will,” said Tsukhanouskaya. “They want people to forget about regime tampering, violence, and oppression if they kidnap journalists and shut down the press, but our memories and truths are stronger than that.”
The European Union and the United States have responded to the crackdown by slapping Belarus with sanctions. After Belarus arrested opposition journalists by circumventing jet airliners on May 23, they imposed new, stricter restrictions.
Lukashenko told a graduate of the Army Military School on Thursday, accusing the West of “taking our sovereignty and trying to implement external governance.”
“But we don’t kneel,” he said. “We protect ourselves, our families, our children, and our land.”
Overall, 27 Belarusian journalists are currently in custody, either sentenced or awaiting trial, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
“The crackdown on independent media in Belarus continues,” said Andrey Bastune, head of the association. “Authorities have decided that information can be stolen from millions of citizens. Authorities consider journalist-independent information to be their main enemy.”