Minsk: Financial police raid flat of independent news agency director

The Minsk flat of Ales Lipai, director of the BelaPAN news agency, has been searched by financial police on Thursday morning.

“In the morning [at 7 am – belsat.eu] the representatives of the Financial Investigations Department (part of the State Control Committee) came to him. Ales did not open the door, but the police started to break it. Then he opened. They are searching the flat, there are plainclothes officers with cameras on the floor, no one is let in. They are likely to confiscate something. Ales is inside. It is not known what he is accused of,” Barys Haretski, Spokesman for the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), told Belsat.

Human rights defenders and plainclothes police officer near Lipai’s flat

The search was conducted as part of a criminal case opened against Lipai, HRC Viasna quotes human rights activist Valyantsin Stefanovich. It is still unknown what charges Ales Lipai is facing. His phone is unavailable at the moment.

Valyantsin Stefanovich (R)
Andrey Bastunets, BAJ Chairman

(UPD) After the seven-hour search Ales Lipai was put in the car and taken to the the Financial Investigations Department. The policemen are reported to have seized a box full of documents.

Алесь Ліпай адразу пасля ператруса

Opublikowany przez Белсат TV Czwartek, 14 czerwca 2018

BelaPAN is the only independent news agency in Belarus. It was founded by Ales Lipai in 1991.

(To be updated)