Photo correspondent of MIA “Russia Segodnya” accused of participation in an unauthorized action

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Ilya Pitalev, a photojournalist of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency, detained in Belarus, was accused of participating in an unsanctioned protest action. He told about this on Tuesday, August 11, “RIA Novosti”.

“They drew up a protocol, which in fact is being copied. Supposedly I took part in the action. They only smiled politely to my statements that I was not going to hold a meeting, ”he said.

At the same time, Pitalev said that he had already left the Zhodino detention center, after which he was going to go to Smolensk, noting that other Russians would be deported along with him. The photojournalist also spoke about his stay in the pre-trial detention center, saying that there were 24 people in the cell with eight beds, and most of them were participants in the actions.

An employee of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency added that he was treated well, the camera was not damaged.

Earlier that day, Minsk reported that journalists without accreditation who were detained during protests in Belarus could be banned from entering the country for up to 10 years. In turn, the representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dujarrik said that the authorities of the Republic of Belarus must provide journalists with the right to work freely.

It also became known about the detention of a number of Russian journalists after the presidential elections in Belarus – Daily Storm employees Anton Starkov and Dmitry Lasenko, Meduza journalist Maxim Solopov, RT correspondent Konstantin Pridybailo, Sputnik Belarus journalist Yevgeny Oleinik, Dozhd TV correspondents, three stringers RT, collaborating with video agency Ruptly, journalist Semyon Pegov.

Pridybailo, Oleinik, Pegov, Starkov and Lasenko were released on August 10, after which several of them returned to Russia. The Dozhd journalists were also released, but they were banned from entering Belarus for a period of five years.

On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. According to the latest data from the Central Election Commission, the incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko won 80.08% of the vote, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was supported by 10.09% of voters. Tikhanovskaya’s headquarters did not recognize the results of the vote.

After the announcement of the preliminary results, unauthorized protests began in Minsk and other cities of Belarus, which resumed in the evening of August 10. Both civilians and security forces suffered, one person died.

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