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    Form of repres­sion



    29 August 2020

    Web­site block­ing

    Access to the naviny.by web­site was blocked in Belarus by the deci­sion of the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion.


    14 Jan­u­ary 2021

    Search in the edi­to­r­i­al office

    Dur­ing the search in the Bela­PAN edi­to­r­i­al office, which last­ed about three hours, law enforce­ment offi­cers seized “hand­writ­ten notes, doc­u­ments, sev­er­al dozen hard dri­ves, and a hard dri­ve of the local net­work serv­er.”


    The search was con­duct­ed as part of the crim­i­nal case against the for­mer assis­tant direc­tor of the agency, jour­nal­ist Andrei Ali­ak­san­drau (detained on 12 Jan­u­ary 2021, in cus­tody) under Arti­cle 342 of the Crim­i­nal Code (“Orga­ni­za­tion and prepa­ra­tion of actions that gross­ly vio­late pub­lic order).


    12 April 2021

    Web­site block­ing

    A mir­ror site of the naviny.by web­site was blocked in Belarus by the deci­sion of the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion.


    18 August 2021

    Search in the edi­to­r­i­al office Crim­i­nal case

    On the morn­ing of 28 August 2021, law enforce­ment offi­cers searched the Bela­PAN news agency edi­to­r­i­al office and homes of agency jour­nal­ists and oth­er staff mem­bers.


    Dur­ing the search­es, the Bela­PAN servers based in Belarus were seized; the belapan.by and belapan.com web­sites were no longer acces­si­ble.


    When the paid peri­od of domain name use of belapan.by and naviny.by was over, the ser­vice provider sold them at an auc­tion to third par­ties not affil­i­at­ed with Bela­PAN staff.


    The fol­low­ing Bela­PAN staff mem­bers were searched:

    • edi­tor-in-chief Iry­na Leushy­na (in cus­tody)

    • for­mer direc­tor Dzmit­ry Navazhy­lau (in cus­tody)

    • edi­tor Ali­ak­san­dr Zait­sau (was not detained)

    • jour­nal­ist Iry­na Turchy­na (released upon inter­ro­ga­tion)

    • accoun­tant Kat­siary­na Boye­va (released with an under­tak­ing to appear)

    • jour­nal­ist Zakhar Shchar­bak­ou (released upon inter­ro­ga­tion)


    The Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee report­ed that Dzmit­ry Navazhy­lau, Iry­na Leushy­na, and Kat­siary­na Boye­va were detained on sus­pi­cion of com­mit­ting crimes under part 1 Arti­cle 342 of the Crim­i­nal Code (“Orga­ni­za­tion and active par­tic­i­pa­tion in actions that gross­ly vio­late pub­lic order”).


    A tax audit of Bela­PAN was ini­ti­at­ed, which revealed vio­la­tions of tax leg­is­la­tion. It was report­ed that after deter­min­ing the final amount of unpaid tax­es, “the inves­ti­ga­tion will make a legal assess­ment of the Bela­PAN offi­cials’ actions” under Arti­cle 243 of the Crim­i­nal Code (tax eva­sion).


    In 2022, the “Bela­PAN case” was tak­en to court. Iry­na Leushy­na, Dzmit­ry Navazhy­lau, Andrei Ali­ak­san­drau, and his part­ner Iry­na Zlobi­na were crim­i­nal­ly charged under sev­er­al arti­cles: the cre­ation of the extrem­ist for­ma­tion Bela­PAN, tax eva­sion, and trea­son. The case is being con­sid­ered by the Min­sk Region­al Court in cam­era.


    1 Novem­ber 2021

    Recog­ni­tion as an extrem­ist for­ma­tion

    Accord­ing to the Deci­sion of the State Secu­ri­ty Com­mit­tee of 01.11.2021 “On recog­ni­tion of a group of cit­i­zens as an extrem­ist for­ma­tion and pro­hi­bi­tion of its activ­i­ty,” “a group of cit­i­zens from among Bela­PAN news agency employ­ees” car­ries out extrem­ist activ­i­ty.


    The Bela­PAN news agency was includ­ed in the Reg­is­ter of Orga­ni­za­tions, For­ma­tions, and Indi­vid­ual Entre­pre­neurs Involved in Extrem­ist Activ­i­ty under No. 10.


    Estab­lish­ment or par­tic­i­pa­tion in an extrem­ist for­ma­tion is a crim­i­nal offense pun­ish­able by impris­on­ment from 2 to 10 years (Arti­cle 3611 of the Crim­i­nal Code of the Repub­lic of Belarus).

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