Raids on Belarusian journalists and human rights activists
Emergency services have broken into private rooms, and there have been arrests. The action is supposed to find out how mass protests in the country were financed.
In Belarus, emergency services have cracked down on journalists and members of human rights organizations across the country. There have been reports of arrests. The action aimed to determine how the mass protests against the head of state Alexander Lukashenko were financed in late summer and autumn, the state investigators said to the sources.
The reasoning fits into the picture: Belarus’s authorities have long claimed that the protests are paid for and directed from abroad. They found no evidence of this. More than 33,000 people have been arrested during the protests so far.
The police searched at least 25 homes and offices across the country, according to the Wesna human rights group. Several union officials and members of Wesna were affected. Wesna’s deputy boss Valentin Stefanowitsch said the raids were a “massive attempt to intimidate journalists and human rights activists”. The headquarters of the NGO had also been searched.