Belarus police briefly detain two reporters at a rally

Police in Minsk on April 26, 2013, detained for three days two reporters for the Poland-based Radio Racyja, according to the local press. The journalists, Gennady Barbarich and Aleksandr Yaroshevich, were taken into police custody on disobedience charges after reporting on a state-authorized rally, called Chernobylskiy Shlyakh, in commemoration of the April 1986 nuclear plant explosion in Chernobyl.

A district court on April 29, 2013, sentenced the journalists to three days in jail, and they were released because they had already served the term, news reports said,

The independent news website Naviny reported that the journalists were detained while headed to the Radio Racyja newsroom after the rally. The officers asked the journalists for their IDs then said Barbarich looked like a wanted criminal and ordered them to come to a local police department. The journalists were then transferred to a detention facility, the Minsk-based press freedom group Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported.

Police briefly detained two other journalists on the same day, BAJ reported. Oksana Rudovich and Irina Arekhovskaya, reporters for the independent newspaper Nasha Niva, were taken to a local police department after reporting on the Chernobyl rally, and held for about an hour.