MOSCOW — The authorities in Belarus have detained at least 18 journalists, accusing them of unlawfully obtaining information from a state news agency, local news reports said on Wednesday, raising fears of a crackdown on dissent.
Accompanied by police officers, officials from the Investigative Committee searched the offices in Minsk, the capital, of three independent news outlets on Tuesday and Wednesday, cordoning them off while confiscating documents and computer hard drives. Those detained included Marina Zolotova, the editor in chief of Tut.by, Belarus’s leading independent news website.
Other organizations targeted by the operation include the Belarusian Private News Agency and Realt.by, a real estate publication. At least five apartments belonging to journalists, including a Deutsche Welle correspondent, were also searched.