Belarus' Foreign Ministry discloses journalists' harassment in EU

MINSK. February 5. KAZINFORM The report "Human Rights Violations in Certain Countries in 2012" released by the Foreign Ministry of Belarus on 4 February reveals incidents of harassment against journalists in several countries of the European Union, BelTA said.

The report informs that such incidents took place in Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

For example, Bulgaria demands extradition from the UK of Mr Mladenov, editor of an on-line news agency, ex-candidate to Parliament, who was accused of disorderly conduct in a Sofia police station. He fled the country because of safety concerns (his office was ransacked, he was beaten in the street and a bomb exploded close to his home).

The municipal police committee in Aci Sant' Antonio in Italy sued Italian journalist Vincenzo Barbagallo for defamation. The journalist posted a video about a municipal police officer who used a police vehicle to transport private goods.

On 17 August the Latvian security police searched the office of editor-in-chief of the website of Russian community "Baltia" Sergei Malakhovsky. The journalist's computer was confiscated. According to Mr Malakhovsky, the search warrant was issued with severe violations, with no witnesses invited. Mr Malakhovsky was charged with "advocating hostility and hatred" (according to Latvian law enforcement authorities).

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry reminded that Sweden is seeking extradition from the UK of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on alleged suspicion of rape. Without having charged him officially, Sweden issued a European arrest warrant against Julian Assange. There are all grounds to believe that Sweden will extradite him to the United States, where he might face death penalty for his journalist activity.

Julian Assange had to hide inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The British authorities put the Embassy under siege. Julian Assange has been staying in the embassy for several months already. More than that, the police arrested several demonstrators who opposed Britain's threats to storm the diplomatic mission and arrest Mr Assange.

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