KYIV, Ukraine — Belarusian authorities blocked the website of a leading online media outlet and detained some of its journalists and several reporters from other news organizations Thursday, the latest moves in a sweeping crackdown on dissent and independent media in the ex-Soviet nation.
Belarus’ Information Ministry said it has blocked Nasha Niva’s website after the prosecutor general’s office accused it of posting unspecified unlawful information.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists, or BAJ, said that authorities conducted searches at Nasha Niva’s offices and detained chief editor Yahor Martsinovich, journalists Andrey Skurko, Andrey Dynko and office accountant Volha Rakovich for questioning. The Belarusian Investigative Committee said it called an ambulance for Martsinovich, who fell ill, but continued his interrogation later.
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged Belarusians to subscribe to media channels on a popular messaging app to support independent media.AP
Agents of the Belarusian state security agency, which still goes under its Soviet-era name, KGB, also conducted searches Thursday