The European Union (EU) urged Belarusian authorities to release TUT.BY and other journalists detained on Tuesday, 7 August.
As soon as possible.
The official statement by Federica Mogherini, a spokeswoman for the EU’s foreign affairs chief, was sent today to Svaboda.org.
“We have been informed about searches and arrests of journalists earlier today in a number of independent-media organisations in Belarus.
Such actions are in contradiction with Belarus’ stated policy of democratisation and its international commitments.
Respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and of media, needs to be upheld. We join the calls for their release.
The EU is committed to a stable, democratic and prosperous future for Belarus, for the benefit of its people, and will continue its work with all the stakeholders with this objective firmly in mind.
In this context, continued support for independent media will remain essential.
The EU will continue to closely monitor the situation in this regard, including via the EU Delegation in Minsk.“
Recall that the Belarusian Investigative Committee officers searched offices of TUT.BY and BelaPAN news agency.
Law enforcement officers seized computers and documents, employees of the company have been summoned for questioning.
TUT.BY editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava and five editors were detained, two of them were released later in the evening.
They were accused of alleged unauthorized access to data of the state-owned news agency BelTA. More detentions followed today.
Deutsche Welle freelancer journalist Pavel Bykovsky, three Realt.by reporters and their editor-in-chief Vladislav Kuletsky and journalist Aleksei Zhukov.