Updated at 13:35,15-07-2024

Police detain independent journalist “by mistake“


A correspondent of Belorusy i Rynok newspaper was detained by mistake after the trial in Uladzimir Niakliaeu's case.

On July 25, Ihar Illiash, a correspondent of the domestic policy department of Belorusy i Rynok weekly, was detained by the police. He spent more than an hour in Minsk's Maskouski district police station on suspicion of committing an offence, the journalist told BelaPAN.

Illiash attended the trial of former presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliaeu in Minsk's Leninski district court. The journalist went to a bus stop at 10:40, after the trial had ended. Three plainclothes police officers from the Maskouski district police station approached and ordered him to get into a minibus. They said Illiash was allegedly caught on hidden camera during committing an offence.

The journalist was taken to the public order department of the Maskouski district police station. Police officers said he was detained for identification, "because he showed his press card without a passport". After the identification procedure, Illiash was asked where he had been on the evening of July 24. The police officers asked who could confirm his words, appologised and set the journalist free.

Police officers neither made a report nor offered the journalist to sign any documents.

Asked about a possible reason for the detention, Illiash said the policemen probably mistook him for another man. "Taking into account how long they were examining my personal data and deciding what they should do with me, I suppose they just mistook me someone," the journalist explained.