October 3, 2023

03.10.2023 – SEEMO Condemns Three Days Detention of Belarusian Journalist

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the three days detention of Belarusian journalist Andrei Tolchyn (Андрэй Толчын) on extremism charges.

On Wednesday 27 September 2023, authorities in the Belarusian city Homel (Гомель) apprehended Tolchyn, a freelance cameraman, placing him under arrest for three days.

The following day, authorities conducted a search at Tolchyn’s apartmentalekss as part of an unspecified “extremism” case, confiscating his equipment, including a laptop.

Andrei Tolchyn has faced recurrent detentions and legal proceedings related to his journalistic work since 2017. Following the 2020 protests, he made the decision to exit the journalism profession. Human rights advocates highlight that his recent Facebook posts primarily consist of animal-related content, photos featuring friends and acquaintances. In June 2021 after he filmed during a protest relatives of political prisoners his video material was confiscated by the police and he was also arrested.

SEEMO stands in solidarity with Andrei Tolchyn and calls the officials in Minsk for the immediate release of journalists detained for their journalistic work.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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