Journalists receive threats at Vainitski's funeral
13:12, — Politics
Journalists of Belarusian independent media received threats of bodily harm from anonymous people.
The funeral for Raman Vainitski took place on March 9, Radio Svaboda reports. Belarusians from all corners of Lithuania gathered to pay the last tribute to him. About 100 activists, politicians and official representatives, including Belarusian diplomats led by Belarus's ambassador to Lithuania Uladzimir Drazhyn, attended the ceremony.
Raman Vainitski is described as a kind and polite person who was trying to unite and reconcile all Belarusians in Lithuania regardless of their political views. “There are many of us, but Belarus is only one. We have nothing to divide,” people recalled his words at the funeral.
Journalists of Belarusian independent mass media, who have accreditation of the Lithuanian MFA, attended the funeral, but failed to capture footage or take pictures.
Unknown Russian-speaking men in civilian clothes hindered Radio Svaboda and Belsat's journalists to do their work, insulted them using obscene words and threatened to cause bodily harm to them. They said “in another country, journalists are treated in a worse way” and added journalists there “catch it from proper people”.
The men didn't introduce themselves, but said they spoke on behalf of the family when they saw the accreditation cards. Earlier, Vainitski's elder son asked not to film in the room for no reasons, but didn’t object to recording video in the street and in the funeral home's lobby. He said he had nothing against to journalists working in Lithuania for Belarusian independent media. He later talked to the men and they made him say the family forbade taking pictures and recording video during the ceremony.
One of the journalists called the police. The men heard the phone call and ran away.
The Vilnius City Police Commissariat registered the complaint of journalists Tatyana Poklad and Zdislavas Voicehovskis. Audio recording and footage of threats to journalists of Belarusian independent media accredited in Lithuania will be attached to the complaint.