Belarus Launches New Criminal Case Against Independent Tut.

MINSK -- Belarusian authorities have launched a new criminal probe against independent news website Tut.by, amid a continuing crackdown on independent media and freedom of speech.

An unspecified number of Tut.by staff members are suspected of jointly inciting social hatred or discord, the Investigative Committee of Belarus said on October 7.

It did not provide further details.

Crisis In Belarus

Read our ongoing coverage as Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka ramps up pressure on NGOs and independent media as part of a brutal crackdown against protesters and the opposition following an August 2020 election widely considered fraudulent.

If charged and convicted, the suspects would face up to 12 years in prison.

Tut.by, once the leading independent news outlet in Belarus, was blocked by the authorities in May, and 15 of its editors and journalists were arrested on charges of tax evasion.

Eleven of them remain either in custody or under house arrest.

After the website was blocked, some of its journalists created a new information site called Zerkalo.io.

Zerkalo.io suggested that the authorities’ latest move against Tut.by journalists could be in retaliation for the creation of the new website.

Tut.by actively covered mass protests that rocked Belarus last year following the disputed results of an August presidential election that handed authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has ruled the country since 1994, a sixth consecutive term.

The demonstrations demanding Lukashenka's resignation were met with the heavy-handed -- and sometimes violent -- detention of tens of thousands of people.

Several demonstrators have been killed and there have been what human rights groups call credible reports of torture in the crackdown.

Much of the opposition leadership has been jailed or forced into exile.

The opposition and the West have refused to recognize Lukashenka as the country’s legitimate leader, saying the vote was rigged, and called for a new, independently monitored vote.

The authorities’ crackdown on independent journalists, the opposition, and civil society is continuing, with at least three ordinary citizens convicted on October 7 over comments they made on social media.

A court in the eastern city of Mahilyou sentenced 24-year-old Illya Dubski to five years in prison after convicting him of inciting hatred and threatening to attack law enforcement officers.

In Minsk, a court handed a two-year parole-like sentence to Mikhail Bohdan for insulting police officers online, while Valyantsina Pisaruk received a two-year parole-like sentence in the central city of Baranavichy for "insulting" a local top police official in a post.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Virginia governor candidates make last-ditch efforts ahead of election day.

Virginia governor candidates make last-ditch efforts ahead of election day.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, and businessman Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate are neck and neck in the race to be Virginia's next governor, with less than two weeks until voters head to the polls. CBS News senior White Hous...

Fauci is confident age limit for boosters will drop soon.

Fauci is confident age limit for boosters will drop soon.

Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in on the possibility of Americans younger than 65 becoming eligible to get a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot in the coming weeks and months. #CNN #News

Marine speaks out after fighting off gas station robbery attempt.

Marine speaks out after fighting off gas station robbery attempt.

Marine veteran James Kilcer took matters into his own hands when he witnessed a robbery attempt at an Arizona gas station. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encom...

Looming Shipping Crisis is Expected to bring Higher Prices, Fewer Choices Ahead of Holiday Season.

Looming Shipping Crisis is Expected to bring Higher Prices, Fewer Choices Ahead of Holiday Season.

From cars and computers to home appliances, apparel and shoes – the global shipping crisis is expected to bring higher prices to a wide range of businesses Originally published at -

Protests Mount Over 2022 Winter Olympics in China

Protests Mount Over 2022 Winter Olympics in China

Activists and lawmakers in numerous countries are calling for the Games to be moved to another country Originally published at -

NATO Defense Ministers Pose for Family Photo in Brussels.

NATO Defense Ministers Pose for Family Photo in Brussels.

Defense ministers from across NATO posed for a photo, Thursday, October 21, at a summit in Brussels. ————————— READ MORE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday relations between the alliance and Russia are at their lowest point sin...