Journalists, protesters detained in Minsk over anti-Russian protest

A protest action against the occupation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula  by the Russian forces was expected to take place in front of the Russian embassy in Minsk on March 2. Ahead of the action, the police detained a group of journalists from independent media that were assigned by their newsrooms to cover the event.

Witnesses said police officers literally carried Radio Svaboda's Ina Studzinskaya into a police van. She was later pushed into a smaller police truck and released after several rides around the city without receiving any explanations.

Also detained were the following journalists: Uladzimir Hrydzin, Iryna Arakhouskaya, Vasil Siamashka, Siarhei Hapon, Artsiom Liava and Yauhen Yarchak. The detained journalists were taken to Central District Police Station. The journalists said the operation to detain the journalists was led personally by Minsk City Police chief Aliaksandr Barsukou.

Journalist Siarhei Hapon told Euroradio that all the detainees were released after some time without detention reports. The police detained Balapan journalist Vasil Siamashka once again after he shouted "Glory to Heros!" already at the police station.

Apart from the journalists, around 20 action participants were also detained. According to unofficial reports that we could not independently verify Russian embassy attache Alexander Pchelintsev was also detained by the police.

Photo from Facebook by Siarhei Hapon