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Three correspondents of the TV channel “Present Time” were deported from Belarus

Three correspondents of the TV channel “Present Time”, a joint project of the media corporation Radio Liberty / Radio Svobodnaya and “Voice of America”, were deported from Belarus to Ukraine. They are now in Odessa.

Earlier, on the afternoon of August 7, at the Minsk Hotel in the capital of Belarus, they detained three full-time correspondents of the Present Time TV channel, who covered the presidential elections on the spot: Irina Romaliyskaya, Yuri Baranyuk and Ivan Grebenyuk.

Romaliyskaya and Grebenyuk are citizens of Ukraine, Baranyuk is a citizen of Russia.

As the journalists said, several police officers and riot police officers entered their room, the room was searched, and all those present were taken in a paddy wagon to the police department, where everyone was interrogated about their activities in the country. For several hours Real Vremya did not know where the correspondents were and what they were accused of. In the evening it became known that they were deported with a ban on entry for ten years.

“Friends, we are all right. We are being sent to Odessa. I think we’ll be there in a couple of hours. And they all got a ban on entry. As far as I understand, the reason was yesterday’s broadcast of “Present Time”. The staff who interrogated us told me the points from which I switched on, ”wrote Irina Romaliyskaya on Facebook.

“Friends, we are already at the airport. Things are good! Thanks everyone! Deportation. Under close supervision. Ten years travel ban. The only flight that took place was Odessa. 23:40 departure from Minsk, ”said Ivan Grebenyuk.

As Irina Romaliyskaya said, the journalists were threatened to be sent to a pre-trial detention center and to take away their equipment, but there was no strong pressure.

As it became known later, the detention and expulsion of the journalists was related to the status of their accreditation.

“The detained journalists of” Present Time “professionally performed their work on covering the presidential elections in the Republic of Belarus. The TV channel “Present Vremya” asked for accreditation for its journalists before the presidential elections in time, but it was not provided to them, ”said Daisy Sindelar, acting president of the Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe media corporation. – The refusal of the Belarusian authorities to timely accredit our journalists is another example of disregard for the rights of a free press and the right of Belarusian citizens to information without censorship. We are outraged by the detention of our journalists and demand that the authorities observe the internationally recognized right of journalists to carry out their professional activities. ”

“Present Time” has been covering the elections in Belarus for several weeks and on the eve held a four-hour special broadcast from the disrupted rally of the presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Only in social networks it has been viewed more than half a million times.

“Present Vremya” sent requests for the detention of correspondents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus. By the time of publication, the department did not provide a response.

  • The presidential elections in Belarus will be held on August 9. In addition to the current head of state Alexander Lukashenko, who has been ruling the country for 26 years, they include: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of the arrested opposition video blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky; Anna Kanopatskaya, former member of the House of Representatives of the Belarusian Parliament; Andrey Dmitriev, co-chairman of the public association Tell the Truth; Sergei Cherechen, chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hramada”.
  • This year’s election campaign in Belarus is taking place against the backdrop of arrests of Lukashenko’s opponents, activists and civilians, as well as mass pickets in support of Tikhanovskaya, attended by tens of thousands of Belarusians.

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