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  • Aliaksandr Kornyshau’s house searched again. Police ask about Vitebskiy Kurier News

    Ali­ak­san­dr Kornyshau, edi­tor of the online pub­li­ca­tion, has been resid­ing abroad since Novem­ber 2020. On May 23, law enforce­ment offi­cers searched for his place of reg­is­tra­tion in Vit­seb­sk. The apart­ment in ques­tion belongs to his par­ents, and the jour­nal­ist’s per­son­al belong­ings were not stored there.

    Ali­ak­san­dr Kornyshau. Video screen­shot

    “At 7 a.m., the police arrived at my res­i­dence and inquired about my tenure as a jour­nal­ist, the finan­cial back­ing of the Viteb­skiy Kuri­er News ser­vice, and the con­tent of my per­son­al writ­ings. They stat­ed that they were search­ing the apart­ment for ‘extrem­ist mate­ri­als,’ but found noth­ing. They then asked if any items in the apart­ment belonged to me. They also had infor­ma­tion about a car that once belonged to me. How­ev­er, the vehi­cle has been seized by the bank due to my fail­ure to repay the loan,” Kornyshau said.

    He reports that the vis­its of law enforce­ment offi­cers to his par­ents’ house have become reg­u­lar. After he left Belarus, the apart­ment where he was reg­is­tered was searched sev­er­al times. After Ali­ak­san­dr Kornyshau par­tic­i­pat­ed in the pro­gram «A Belaru­sian for a Belaru­sian» on the Bel­sat TV chan­nel, unex­pect­ed vis­i­tors began to appear almost every month.

    In April, for exam­ple, offi­cers of the Per­shamais­ki police depart­ment came look­ing for the jour­nal­ist, because an admin­is­tra­tive case had been filed against him for post­ing «extrem­ist» links. These were links to mate­ri­als on the web­site of the Viteb­skiy Kuri­er News, which were rec­og­nized as «extrem­ist infor­ma­tion prod­ucts» by the court of the Viteb­sk Chy­hu­nach­ny Dis­trict on Jan­u­ary 14, 2022.

    Unable to find the jour­nal­ist, the police pro­ceed­ed to locate Kornyshau’s account on VK.com and sent him the admin­is­tra­tive reports. The doc­u­ments indi­cat­ed that the edi­tor was to be tried on May 16 and 20. He was also informed about the lat­ter date by the staff of the Per­shamais­ki Dis­trict Court of Vit­seb­sk through the VK.com mes­sages. How­ev­er, the court cal­en­dar for those days did not include a men­tion of the tri­al of Ali­ak­san­dr Kornyshau. He is unaware of whether the tri­al took place and the out­come.

    Two weeks ago, the edi­tor of Viteb­skiy Kuri­er found out that he was includ­ed in the «list of extrem­ists» on the web­site of the Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs as a par­tic­i­pant in the elec­toral ini­tia­tive Euro­pean Choice, which was declared an «extrem­ist for­ma­tion» on May 10.

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