Brussels, 27 March 2020
Resolution of the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the detention of Siarhei Satsuk the chief editor of the “Ezhednevnik” publishing house
On March 25 Siarhei Satsuk a journalist and a chief editor of the “Ezhednevnik” web publishing house was detained in Minsk by members of the Financial Investigation of the State Monitoring Committee. On March 26 members of the mentioned state body seized the documents from the “Ezhednevnik” editorial office.
According to the information from Siarhei Satsuk’s relatives and friends, he is charged with a crime provided for in part 2 of the article 430 of the criminal code of the Republic of Belarus (receiving bribes repeatedly or by extortion or by a group of people in collusion or in especially large size). The punishment for this crime includes imprisonment from three to ten years.
Siarhei Satsuk is known by the representatives of civil society as a journalist of principle, committed to his profession, who has been working in investigative journalism for many years despite unfavourable circumstances in the media in our country. One of his latest major works is a series of materials in the “Ezhednevnik” publishing house on corruption in the system of the Ministery of Health of the Republic of Belarus. After his work was published, numerous individuals mentioned in the materials were sentenced to imprisonment for corruption offences.
These journalistic investigations of Siarhei Satsuk caused a wave of adverse materials about him in public sources of information where the chief editor of “Ezhednevnik” was accused of writing articles upon request. According to the interview which Siarhei Satsuk gave to the “Ezhednevnik” web publishing house in August 2019 and to the text which too was published on March 26, 2020 on the “European Radio for Belarus” website, the journalist was repeatedly threatened because of his journalistic activity.
Given this fact, the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses full support to and solidarity with the Statement of “The Belarusian Association of Journalists” on detention of Siarhei Satsuk dated on 26 March 2020 and calls for the release of Siarhei Satsuk and termination of criminal prosecution of him.
Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum