“We only don’t need these journalistic things!”

Journalists were briefly detained in Minsk for taking photos of a high official in an informal situation.

The incident took place on December 1 in a Minsk night club “Center” at a music concert.

The journalist of the online resource “Salidarnasts’” Alena Yakzhyk and her colleague were accredited for covering the concert. Among the concert visitors Alena Yakzhyk saw Pavel Latushka, former Minister of Culture, and now Ambassador to France. She asked her colleague to take a photo of the ambassador to France, but it turned out later that the ambassador was not inclined to being photographed. Ten minutes later the photographer and then the journalist were detained by security guards of the club.

The guards demanded that the photographer delete all the photos, and copied his personal data. Alena Yakzhyk had a talk with Pavel Latushka who sincerely asked if he could spend an evening in a personal capacity. Alena Yakzhyk wondered why the journalist must be detained for taking photos when there are hundreds of other people in the club who also were able hundreds times to take photos of the ambassador. When the journalist argued with the security guards that she was a journalist and they interfered with her professional activities, the guards reacted in quite a vulgar way: “We only don’t need these journalistic things!” The journalist says she received several veiled threats and interprets the talk as “being in bandit 90s”.