New York, July 31, 2018–Belarusian government ought to end their harassment of impartial blogger Sergey Petrukhin and permit him to paintings without worry of reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A courtroom today charged Petrukhin with disobedience of the correct order, consistent with the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Petrukhin, who runs the video weblog People’s Reporter, turned into detained out of doors his apartment building on July 27 after refusing to permit police enter, according to reports. Police had also issued a summons for Petrukhin on July 24, in line with the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Petrukhin instructed the affiliation he has not noted the summons, however, was aware that an investigation had been opened against him. The research relates to an insult grievance filed by an officer who detained the blogger earlier this 12 months, Petruchio’s friend and weblog co-host Aleksandr Kabanov, informed the Belarusian Service of the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

The Ministry of Interior did now not right away reply to CPJ’s electronic mail requesting remark.

Petrukhin covers reports of alleged neighborhood corruption on a YouTube-based weblog that has approximately 17,000 subscribers. In recent posts, he criticized the development of an car battery plant close to Brest, announcing it would be harmful to the surroundings.

“We call on Belarusian government to drop those costs in opposition to Sergey Petrukhin and stop harassing him,” stated CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia research associate, Gulnoza Said. “Journalists play an vital role in elevating troubles of public interest and have to be loose to paintings without worry of retaliation.”

At a district courtroom listening to today, a choose allowed Petrukhin to lease a protection lawyer and launched him pending trial at the disobedience charge. The listening to become adjourned till tomorrow, the Belarusian Association of Journalist reported.

In a stay-circulate that Petrukhin filmed of his July 27 arrest, a police officer is visible reading a search warrant to the blogger. When Petrukhin refused to allow police within the building, the officers detained him. A police officer additionally stated a complaint filed by a person named as Ryabushko, accusing Petrukhin of insult.

Petruchio’s blog co-host Kabanov said in a follow-up video publish that Nikolai Ryabushko is a police officer who detained the bloggers in February and saved them out of doors in the bloodless weather for several hours earlier than taking them to court.

CPJ has formerly documented how authorities jailed Petrukhin for 15 days in March 2017, after he attempted to stay-move protests.

 

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