Updated at 20:11,29-10-2020

Minister of Information supports police in conflict with journalist


The Ministry of Information will give an official reply about the incident that occurred in Minsk Frunze District Court. Tut.by journalist Pavel Dabravolski was beaten by policemen there. Liliya Ananich commented on it in the programme Editors’ Club on Belarus 1 on February 7.

"We have received an official reply from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It shows that the participants of the incident violated the law and that the policemen used force legally,” BelaPAN quotes the official.

Journalists cannot be active participants of the conflict, Ananich said. “If it happens, they are no longer journalists. Such actions discredit the profession,” she claimed.

The incident occurred on January 25. Policemen dragged two activists out of the court room during the ‘graffitists’ trial. Maksim Shytsik and Pavel Syarhei had hoisted the banner ‘No To Political Persecution’ in the court room. Dabravolski was filming the events and followed the policemen. All the three people were dragged into a room and beaten by the policemen. Dabravolski was beaten regardless of being a journalist. All the three were fined later.

Dabravolski and Shytrsik documented the injuries and lodged a complaint. Minsk police replied that Dabravolski ‘interfered in the policemen’s legal actions’ and was ignoring their remarks.

182 journalists sent an appeal to the Ministry of Information on February 1. They urged the Ministry to make a statement about the beating of Dabravolski and remind the police that it was inadmissible to create obstacles to journalists’ professional activities.