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Dozhd TV says apartment rented by its journalists in Minsk was searched

According to Dozhd attorney, people in civilian clothes inspected the apartment and went away

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Dozhd television channel has said citing attorney Anton Gashinsky that the apartment rented in Minsk by its detained journalists has been searched.

"The apartment rented by the Dozhd journalists in Minsk is being searched. Attorney Anton Gashinsky told Dozhd about it. The search is being carried out by people in civil clothing who did not introduce themselves. The attorney was not let in," Dozhd said on its Telegram channel on Sunday.

Later it said that the search had not taken long. "The people in civilian clothes did not seize anything. They just inspected the apartment and went away," it said.

Earlier in the day, Dozhd said on its Telegram channel citing Gashinsky that the journalists had not been taken to the Minsk district police office but were kept at the Belarusian interior ministry’s organized crime and corruption department.

Dozhd said earlier on Sunday that its correspondents Vladimir Romensky and Vasily Polonsky, and cameraman Nikola Antipov had been detained in Minsk by people in civilian clothes.

According to a representative of the headquarters of unregistered candidate Viktor Babariko, the ally of candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Maria Kolestinova, the journalists were detained after they had spoken with her in the street.

Belarus’ interior ministry has been unavailable for comment.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Dozhd that the Russian embassy was taking efforts to resolve the situation.

On Sunday, Belarus is holding its sixth presidential election since declaring independence in 1991. The incumbent head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, 65, is seeking his sixth term in office. Other candidates are co-leader of the Govori Pravdu (Tell the Truth) public movement Andrei Dmitriyev, former member of the lower parliament house Anna Kanopatskaya, housewife Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Gramada Sergei Cherchen.