Police seize 4 computers from Mahilou journalist

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Seven people came to Ales Burakou’s flat on the morning of September 16 –­ 5 policemen and two witnesses. The search took an hour, the journalist says. The policemen confiscated two notebooks. They also searched the flat belonging to the journalist’s parents and confiscated two computers.

Several Burakou’s articles published on the website of the radio station Deutsche Welle were the reason for the search. The Mahilyou inhabitant is accused if working for a foreign mass medium without accreditation. He explained to Euroradio why he does not consider it a law violation:

Burakou: “I am a freelancer. I do not need accreditation unless I am a member of the staff. Only members of foreign mass media staff need it. That is why I do not see any administrative violation in it.”  

By the way, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović  is paying an official visit to Belarus now. She would like Belarus to abolish obligatory accreditation of journalists. Burakou told police major Puhachyov about it. However, he did not pay attention to it, the journalist told Euroradio.  

The search in Burakou’s flat is not the only problem that has appeared recently. He was summoned to the public prosecutor's office to discuss the appearance of his materials on the TV channel Belsat a few weeks ago.

Burakou: “They had been advising that I filled in a tax return a month before they talked about Belsat to me. Thus, it all has been happening for three months. The tax inspectorate, the police and now – this search…”