Belarusian journalist detained for showing subway security flaws

By EDRi · August 1, 2012

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Deutsch: [Weißrussland: Journalist wegen Berichts über Sicherheitsmängel in der U-Bahn festgenommen |]

Several Belarusian journalists have been lately arrested for having
shown flows in the security system of Belarus. The latest arrest, on 25
July 2012, was that of Vital Ruhayn on charges of hooliganism and
obscene language in public. In fact, he became infamous for publishing a
video online showing a lack of security on the Minsk subway although it
was the target of a deadly bombing in April 2011.

The video was clearly showing the journalist carrying a large bag into
the Minsk metro and following the same route as the 2011 bomber – the
police did not react in any way. Although the court released Ruhayn, he
is still under prosecution and the hearing was only postponed for five
days in order to allow the police to correct the inconsistencies in
their testimonies and written reports.

“Vital Ruhayn’s arrest is indicative of the regime’s sensitivities about
matters related – closely or otherwise – to the Minsk bombing and
national security. A journalist should not be arrested for highlighting
police violations of security regulations. We call for the withdrawal of
the trumped-up charges brought against him,” was the reaction of
Reporters Without Borders.

Also, in June, ERB reporter Pavel Svyardlow was arrested on similar
obscene language charges, and was given a 15-day jail sentence
and on 13 July journalist Anton Surapin was arrested for having posting
on the Internet photos of the action of a Swedish advertising agency of
4 July – the agency people flew a light aircraft into the Belarusian
airspace dropping hundreds of teddy-bears with messages supporting free
speech in Belarus. Surapin is still held by the Committee for State
Security on the charge of helping foreigners to cross the border
illegally and is facing a three to seven years prison sentence.

Journalist facing jail sentence for exposing Minsk metro security flaws

Ruhain’s case to be revised due to witnesses’ confusion (26.07.2012)

Euroradio journalist Vital Ruhain is released (26.07.2012)