Fleeing Belarus

Journalist Natalia Radzina, who was beaten and imprisoned following last year’s disputed election, explains why she fled Belarus seeking political asylum

Belarus: Natalia Radzina seeking asylum abroad

Belarusian journalist Natalia Radzina has revealed that she is seeking political asylum in a foreign country. She has declined to comment on where she is and how she got there. Radzina was ordered to attend the KGB office in Minsk on 31 March. It is thought that the purpose of this visit was for the KGB to bring a formal charge against her for organising “mass disorder” during a protest against the presidential election result in December 2010. However, her mother claims she saw her daughter board a train on 30 March and could not contact her the following day. Radzina was nominated for an Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award in 2010.

KGB attempted to recruit Belarusian journalist

Index on Censorship award nomineee Natalia Radzina of Belarus’s Charter 97 has revealed that the KGB tried to recruit her as an informant. She alleges that KGB officers psychologically tortured her whilst she was held at the KGB detention centre in Minsk. She has claimed that she was threatened with “five to eight years” in prison if she did not comply, and told that she would “have no children”.

Belarus: Journalists released but under restrictions

The KGB have released journalists Irina Khalip and Charter 97’s Natalia Radzina but have placed serious restrictions on their movement and activities. Radina has been forced to leave Minsk to the western town of Kobrin and remain there until her case is investigated further, while Khalip — who is married to former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov — is under house arrest and is not allowed to use the phone or access the internet. The two were arrested on December 19 following post-election protests.