The Belarusian government has blocked the website of independent media outlet TUT.BY and raided its offices and staff for alleged tax evasion.
“The co-founder of TUT.BY Kirill Voloshin announces that the portal’s domain has been blocked. A criminal case has been initiated against TUT.BY by the DFR,” announced TUT.BY on its social media accounts.
TUT.BY also said that police have searched the offices of TUT.BY and its affiliates Houser.by and Av.by, as well as the homes of several editors, including the outlet’s chief editor, Maryna Zolatava before their site was blocked.
According to the Belarusian Department of Financial Investigations (DFR), the Tut Bai Media group, TUT.BY’s parent company was suspected of large-scale tax evasion since 2019.
Belarus’ Ministry of Information explained that the site block was ordered by the country’s general prosecutor because of some articles posted by TUT.BY that allegedly “violated the country’s media law.”
“It is prohibited to disseminate information on Internet resources on behalf of organizations that have not undergone state registration in the prescribed manner,” said the ministry.
Several of TUT.BY’s reporters have already been arrested for covering the pro-democracy protests in the country last year.
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