Belarus: Journalist stopped from leaving country

Andrej Dynko, managing editor of independent Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva and Index on Censorship contributor, was ordered to get off a train while travelling from Minsk to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Border guards did not give the journalist explanations, recommending instead he get further information from the migration and citizenship department of Belarus’ ministry of interior affairs. Several other Belarusian public figures have faced similar difficulties leaving the country recently, including the opposition United Civil Party leader Anatol Lyabedzka.

Belarus: Two independent newspapers fined

Two of the few remaining independent newspapers in Belarus have each been fined 14m roubles (1,704 GBP) for minor infractions. Last month a legal bid to have them closed was withdrawn but both papers were warned of possible prosecutions that could lead to fines. Nasha Niva received was fined for failing to show its registration number in one of its latest issues, while Narodnaya Volya received a warning for getting a date wrong in a recent issue. Independent media in Belarus have received a torrent of warnings over their political coverage since the 11 April Minsk metro bombing.

Belarus shuts two newspapers; sends opposition leader to jail

On Wednesday (27 April) authorities in Belarus closed two independent newspapers, Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya. The Information Ministry said it acted after repeatedly warning both newspapers over their political coverage in the last year. In a separate incident yesterday (27 April), opposition leader Dimitry Bondarenko was found guilty of organising a rally in December to protest the election results which extended President Alexander Lukashenko’s term in office. The court has sentenced him to two years in prison.