Ivan Muravyou

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Belarusian authorities have detained former journalist Ivan Muravyou since August 2022 on charges of participating in an extremist group. 

On August 29, 2022, law enforcement in Minsk detained Muravyou, a former operator with independent Poland-based online television station Belsat TV, according to a statement by Belarusian human rights groups, which was published by local advocacy and trade group Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), and Viasna, a human rights group. Both Viasna and BAJ are banned in Belarus but continue to operate unofficially.

Muravyou was charged with “participating in an extremist formation” and faces up to six years in jail under Article 361-1, Part 3, of the Belarusian criminal code, those reports said. 

Previously, on August 4, 2020, police in the eastern Belarusian city of Sklou detained Muravyou while he was working on an investigative story for Belsat TV about support for the opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. 

He was detained again in Minsk on August 11 while covering the protests demanding President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s resignation, he told now-defunct independent professional trade organization Press Club Belarus

In September 2022, CPJ called the Ministry of Interior’s press service, but nobody answered the phone. CPJ emailed the Belarusian Investigative Committee but did not receive any replies.