On August 18, 2021 searches were conducted at the independent information agency BelaPAN [It was recognized as an extremist formation under the KGB (the Committee for State Security) decision in November, 2021
] as well as at homes of some of its employees and the former director of BelaPAN. After that, editor-in-chief and director of BelaPAN Iryna Leushina was detained and taken to the detention facility in Okrestina St. in Minsk. After 10 days, Leushina was transferred to SIZO-1 [pre-trial detention center].
The Investigative Committee initially stated that the detainments were on suspicion of crimes committed under Article 342 Part 1 (Organisation and active participation in actions in gross violation of public order) of the Criminal Code of Belarus. However on 27 August, the Investigative Committee communicated opening a criminal case of tax evasion (under Article 243 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of Belarus). Media manager and journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau
, detained 12 January 2021, was reported a person of interest in the same case.
On October 6, 2022 at Minsk regional court a sentence was given on "the BelaPAN case", in which Iryna Leushina was involved. Iryna Leushina was accused of creation and administration of an extremist formation. She was condemned to 4 years of general regime colony. The legal proceedings were closed.
The journalist has been recognized as political prisoner.