Criminal Case On Mass Riots Opened Against Belsat Journalist

Journalist Ekaterina Andreeva has been charged with the “organization of group actions that grossly violate public order” and remains under arrest. Her family’s apartment was searched today, the Belsat TV channel reports.

Andreeva was charged under Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus [organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order]. The court applied remand in custody for two months until 20 January next year as a preventive measure against the journalist. Ekaterina pleaded not guilty and refused to testify.

Today she was be transferred to the Zhodino pre-trial detention center. Also, her place of residence and family’s apartment were searched. Security forces did not confiscate anything. As noted in the statement, “devices and means of committing a crime, objects and documents related to the criminal case, were not found.”

Ekaterina Andreeva has now been serving seven days of administrative arrest. The journalist was detained on Sunday, 15 November, in Changes Square. According to security forces, she took part in an unauthorized action. Andreeva told the court that she was detained in an apartment, where 10 special forces employees broke into.

The court found her guilty under Articles 23.34 [participation in an unauthorized mass event] and 23.4 [disobedience to requirements of police officers] of the Administrative Code. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, 363 journalists have been detained in the country since 9 August. Twenty reporters are currently behind bars.