KYIV, July 16 – Belarusian police searched offices and homes of independent journalists and human rights activists for the third successive day on Friday, extending what President Alexander Lukashenko’s opponents say is a new crackdown on dissent.
A senior law enforcement official was quoted by the state-run Belta news agency as saying security forces carried out the searches after receiving information about the alleged financing of protests against Lukashenko.
Local human rights groups said at least five people had been detained, and 25 homes and offices had been searched.
The office of US broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was among those searched, the Belarus association of Journalists said, denouncing “a massive attack by security forces on journalists across the country.”
On its website, RFE/RL quoted witnesses as saying police had broken through the door of its office in the capital Minsk and said the homes of two RFE/RL journalists had been searched.
Human rights organization Viasna-96 said two RFE/RL