Three Current Time journalists deported from Belarus ahead of the country's August 9 presidential election have arrived safely in Odesa, Ukraine.
One member of the team has said they have been banned from entering Belarus for 10 years. The reason for their August 7 detention remains unclear, Current Time TV reported.
The journalists – Evening news anchor Iryna Romaliiska and correspondents Yury Baranyuk and Ivan Grebenyuk – had been covering Belarus' presidential campaign for the Russian-language television-digital network led by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in association with the Voice of America.
Police detained the journalists on August 7 in the Belarusian capital's Hotel Minsk.
Current Time has sent a request for information about these detentions to Belarus' Interior Ministry.
Based on preliminary information, the detention appears to be connected to the journalists' accreditation status.
"Our Current Time journalists were detained in the course of professionally carrying out their work covering the Belarusian presidential election," commented RFE/RL Acting President and Editor-in-Chief Daisy Sindelar. "Current Time requested accreditation for its journalists well in advance of the election. The failure by Belarusian authorities to grant credentials is yet another example of their contempt for the rights of a free press and the right of Belarusians to uncensored Information. We are outraged by their detention and demand respect for the internationally recognized rights of journalists to do their work."
Romaliiska and Grebenyuk are Ukrainian citizens, based in Current Time's headquarters in the Czech capital, Prague; Baranyuk is a Russian citizen based in St. Petersburg, Russia.