Belarusian authorities have detained Alyaksey Shota , the editor in chief of the independent Hrodna.life news portal, in the western city of Hrodna.
In a statement on May 30, police in Hrodna said that the news portal had posted material that was “recognized as extremist.” The Belarusian Association of Journalists said in a statement that Shota was detained near his home on May 30. In March, a court in Hrodna found Shota guilty of disseminating extremist material and imposed a fine. Shota had previously worked for Tut.by, the country's largest independent online media outlet. Earlier in May, police launched a probe of Tut.by, searching the homes of several of its editors and blocking its website. The Belarusian Association of Journalists said last week that 27 media workers were behind bars, either awaiting trial or serving sentences.
Belarus has been gripped by nearly unprecedented political turmoil since last August, when authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka declared victory in a disputed presidential election.
Belarusians have taken to the streets around the country to protest. Security forces have arrested thousands of people, including dozens of journalists who covered the rallies. The crackdown has pushed most of the top opposition figures out of the country.