Three independent journalists released from detention in Belarus

Independent Belarusian journalists Inna Studzinska, a former long-time reporter for (Radio Svoboda), Oleh Hruzdylovych from the same editorial office and Ihar Illiash from Belsat TV were released from detention in Minsk, independent media reported on Monday morning.

Ms Studzinska, Mr Hruzdylovych and Ales Dashchynsky from Radio Liberty as well as Mr Iliash and another Belsat journalist, Hanna Halota, were detained on July 16. On that day, Belarusian law enforcement conducted multiple searches of journalists' homes and editorial offices of independent media, including many local media.

Dashchynsky and Halota were released from detention on Friday.

Authorities and government media say that independent editorial offices and non-governmental organisations, also targeted by mass searches, interrogations and detentions, acted on behalf of "Western principals" and participated in "financing protests" in Belarus.

Radio Liberty is financed by the USA, and Belsat television is financed by Poland. Journalists from these media outlets working in Belarus are all citizens of the country.