MINSK: Four staff at an independent Belarusian press association have been charged with tax evasion, a lawyer for the group’s founder said on Thursday, as the authorities continue to crack down on peaceful protests.
Yulia Slutskaya, a journalist who founded the Belarusian Press Club in 2016, has been charged with “large-scale tax evasion”, her lawyer Anton Gashinsky told AFP, and will remain in pre-trial detention until February 23.
Slutskaya, who is also a member of the board for the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), was detained last week after returning to Belarus from a holiday abroad. On Wednesday a state audit body said it was carrying out “verifications” of tax violations including “large sums of money” coming in “from abroad”.
Along with Slutskaya the press club’s director Sergei Olshevsky, programme director Alla Sharko and Slutskaya’s son Pyotr Slutsky, who is an employee of the group, have been charged as co-conspirators, lawyer Gashinksy said.
Source: The News