15th person arrested in TUT.BY case revealed; European Parliament and OSCE representatives condemn repressions of journalists; media around the world are following developments in Belarus; authorities try to avoid holding any type of elections
20 May 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Detentions of TUT.BY employees continue
Former company attorney, Iryna Kastyuchenka, who had recently changed her job, was detained. Iryna was taken directly from her new place of work. She is currently at Akrestsina detention center. Her procedural status is not known.
Iryna became the 15th detainee in the TUT.BY case.
In the meantime, Akrestsina detention facility did not accept packages for the detained TUT.BY staff. The relatives will get another opportunity to try to deliver packages again only in a week’s time.
Exceptions were made only for TUT.BY editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava, editor Volha Loyka, and journalist Alena Talkachova.
After three days of disappearance, the TUT.BY founder’s widow was found. She is under house arrest
For three days, there had been no information about the whereabouts of Yuliya Charniauskaya, the widow of TUT. BY founder, Yury Zisser. Missing woman’s mother filed an application with the KGB, requesting to be informed whether her daughter had been detained or to start a missing person search in case Yuliya was not in their custody.
Yuliya Charniauskaya disappeared on the morning of 18 May. She was briefly located in a Minsk hospital after suffering a hypertensive crisis. In the medical facility she was accompanied by a KGB officer. Yuliya has heart problems and a disability. According to Yuliya’s daughter, for the past ten years she has been suffering from severe pain in her spine and legs.
Today it became known that she had undergone “surgical procedures” and is now at home under house arrest. She thanks everyone for their support. Her lawyer had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The authorities are trying hard to avoid setting up any type of elections
Belarusian authorities may introduce a single voting day to elect the deputies of all levels. If such constitutional law is approved, the local council elections that are due by 18 January 2022, would be postponed until 2023 to be combined with parliamentary elections. Lidziya Yarmoshyna believes that “every election campaign generates turbulence and creates certain political problems for society”.
European Parliament and OSCE representatives condemned repressions against journalists; media around the world are following the events in Belarus
“We strongly condemn the ruthless repressions against the independent media by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko as evidenced by the brutal persecution of TUT.BY, the most influential Internet publication in Belarus.” This joint statement was made by the MEPs from Poland and Lithuania, Robert Biedroń and Petras Austrevičius, on 19 May. They were joined by representatives of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Human Rights.
Mass media around the world are following the events in Belarus. Articles about the blocking of TUT.BY and the opening of a criminal case against the company’s executives made the front pages of leading newspapers.