15:08 17.11.2017

UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Sharoiko arrested in Minsk late October – National radio official

UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Sharoiko arrested in Minsk late October – National radio official

UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Pavlo Sharoiko was arrested in Minsk during late October. He is suspected of being a saboteur, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Ukraine's National Radio Company Svitlana Mialyk has said, citing Sharoiko's wife.

"Sharoiko was arrested. His wife Yelena told me. It happened on October 25 in Minsk," Mialik said on her Facebook page on Friday.

According to Sharoiko's wife, Belarusian law-enforcement agents searched his accommodations before the arrest.

"Pavlo is suspected of espionage. I have communicated with him via correspondence. They won't let me meet with him," Mialyk said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it is taking steps to protect Sharoiko's rights.

"The Foreign Ministry is aware of a Ukrainian citizen's detention in Belarus. The Foreign Ministry is taking measures to protect the detained Ukrainian citizen's rights," Foreign Ministry Consular Service spokesperson Vasyl Kyrylych told the online publication Ukrayinska Pravda.

Asked about the reasons of the journalist's detention, Kyrylych replied, "We have no comment on the circumstances of the detention."

News about Sharoiko's detention in Belarus came earlier on Friday from Zurab Alasania, the chairman of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, and Ukrainian Radio General Producer Dmytro Khorkin.

Alasania said Sharoiko was charged with spying, which he described as a standard charge brought against foreign correspondents.

The Ukrainian Embassy to Belarus has neither denied nor confirmed Sharoiko's arrest, Ukrainian Radio said.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has refrained from commenting on reports of Sharoiko's detention.

The Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) also declined to comment on the journalist's detention.

"We won't comment on this situation for the time being," KGB spokesman Dmitry Pobyarzhin told Interfax.

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