Belarus: Journalists arrested

Reporters Aleksandr Lomashkin and Ales Asiptsu were arrested in separate incidents on Thursday, 24 March. Both were detained on the eve of “Freedom Day”, an unofficial holiday traditionally celebrated by members of the opposition. Lomashkin is a Russian journalist who worked in Belarus and founded the human rights website Svoboda. He was forced to get off a train at the Belarusian border and was searched by two officers who claimed that they were looking for drugs. He was arrested for “insulting an officer” and imprisoned for three days. Asipstu is an independent Belarusian journalist who was also arrested for allegedly “urinating in a public place.”