The authorities in the city of Viciebsk have taken another repressive action against Vitsebsky Kurier, the oldest and currently only one independent newspaper in Eastern Belarus.
Late at night the Police stopped a car and violently arrested the newspaper’s chief editor and a journalist who had 10 000 copies of the latest edition of the newspaper in the car.
The Police initiated two administrative cases against the newspaper; one accusation for having a “filthy license plate”.
As a result, the authorities confiscated the driver’s licence of Aleh Barshcheuski, chief editor, who drove the car. In addition the car was confiscated as well as all the 10 000 copies of Vitsebsky Kurier.
Today the authorities continue to put pressure on independent Vitsebsky Kurier journalists by following and stopping them. Another car with a journalist from Vitsebsky Kurier was recently been stopped by the Road Police with no official explanation.
According to Volha Karach, one of the newspaper’s representatives, as well as famous civic activist and United Civic Party politician, the authorities were particularly interested in confiscating the latest edition of the newspaper as is contains an analyzes and facts about the unlawful detention and sentencing of Ales Bialiatski, Belarus’ leading human rights defender.