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Three journalists, editors detained in Belarus (updated)

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Illustration: delaitrue.mozello.com

On 7 August, the Investigation Committee in Belarus announced about the detention of three Belarusian journalists and editors: Marina Zolotova (TUT.by), Anna Kaltygina (TUT.by) and Tatsiana Karanekova (BelaPAN). They are suspected of illegal use of the paid subscription of the state news agency BELTA.

UPD: Reports suggest that TUT.BY journalist Ulyana Babayed has also been detained. Information is yet to be confirmed.

The website of the Investigation Committee reports that detention is connection with the inquiry and criminal case that the police opened under Article 349 (2) in the Penal Code of Belarus - "Unauthorized access to computer information committed out of personal interest and that caused significant damage." Punishment under this article is a fine or arrest or the restriction of freedom up to two years or imprisonment for the same period.

"During the inquiry, the Interior Ministry identified numerous facts of unauthorized access to computer information owned by BELTA," the press office of the Investigation Committee said. "In the course of two years (2017-2018), over 15 000 unauthorized connections to BELTA's password protected database were conducted without knowledge or consent of the enterprise.

As a result, BELTA has suffered significant damage manifested in the illegitimate possession and use of the protected information as well as in the undermined business reputation."

The raid is taking place at the TUT.BY office, the journlaists are not being allowed to enter ther job posts.