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Journalists Under Pressure In Belarus

A Belarusian journalist working for the Poland-based Belsat television channel is being tried on suspicion of working without accreditation.

Larysa Shchyrakava was summoned to a hearing in southeastern city of Homel on March 12.

The legal pressure comes after Shchyrakava reported on protests by local vendors in Homel in February. Belsat TV is a Polish state-run satellite television channel that broadcasts into Belarus in the Belarusian and Russian languages, irritating authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's government.

Also on March 12, police in Belarus' eastern city of Mahileu searched the apartment of a local journalist Ihar Barysau.

A Mahileu human rights activist Barys Bukhel told RFE/RL that Barysau was not answering his telephone.

Barysau, the editor of the Nash Mahileu (Our Mahileu) website, was charged with libel after he alleged in an article that a local business owner had lost a significant amount of cash in casino.

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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.