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Detained journalists to stay at police station until morning

Individual checks are underway, said Belarus’ interior ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova

MINSK, September 1. /TASS/. Several journalists who were detained in Minsk will be kept at a police station until morning, Belarus’ interior ministry spokeswoman, Olga Chemodanova, told TASS on Tuesday.

"Several journalists will have to stay at the police station until morning as part of the administrative process. Individual checks are underway," she said.

Nadezhda Kalinina, a journalist of the internet portal, who was taken to the Oktyabrsky district police department for an identity check earlier on Tuesday, said the six journalists who had been detained along with her, would spend the night at the police station. The portal’s editor-in-chief, Marina Zolotova, wrote on her Facebook account that the journalists were charged with participation in an unauthorized mass gathering (article 23.34 of the Belarusian Code of Administrative Offence) and would face trial.

Several journalists were detained in Minsk on Tuesday while covering protest actions. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, eight journalists from the portal, RIA Novosti, the BelaPAN news agency, and Belarus’ office of Komsomolskaya Pravda, were detained.

This is not the first time when accredited journalists, including TASS correspondents, were detained while covering protests in Minsk. As a rule, they were released after identity checks.