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TUT.by editor goes public about recruitment under pressure
TUT.by editor Dzmitry Bobryk has written on his Facebook page that he was threatened and forced to cooperate during interrogations at the Investigation Committee in connetion with the 'BelTA case.'
"They took me to the central office of the Investigation Committee after a 3-hour search in my flat on 7 August,” Bobryk wrote. “I was kept there late into the night. I displayed weakness and was afraid. They threatened to reveal the details of my personal life if I refused to cooperate. They also said that my relatives would be in danger. I started trembling with fear because they had threatened me with the worst things in my life. Hence, I signed a cooperation agreement.”
Dzmitry Bobryk also wrote that while being in a detention cell, he decided not to cooperate with the Investigation Committee despite his written committment because he would not be able ‘to look into the mirror.’ Initially, he was treated as a witness in the BELTA case. But later when he had refused to share any information with the investigators, Bobryk became a suspect in this case.
"The pressure enhanced after that,” Dzmitry added. “I feel disgusted for my lack of strength to refuse from cooperation when I was still in jail.” He decided to go public about it now because ‘it is no longer possible to endure.’ Bobryk is scared that pressure may be exercised on his relatives and friends now.
The Investigation Committee spokesperson Yuliya Hancharova has commented on Dzmitry Bobryk’s statement on Facebook: “This is the shortest lie ever.”
The committee is investigating a criminal case connected with the illegal access to the paid news feed of the state-run news agency BELTA. The offices of BelaPAN and TUT.by were searched on 7 August. Ten people were arrested: Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina, Halina Ulasik, Hanna Yermachonak, Tatstsyana Karavyankova, Paulyuk Bykouski, Alyaksei Zhukau, Iryna Leushyna and Dzmitry Bobryk. All of them were released later.