Europe

Belarus police raid offices of Polish-funded TV

  • Journalists examine empty tables after Belarusian police conducted a search and confiscated equipment in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017. The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Journalists examine empty tables after Belarusian police conducted a search and confiscated equipment in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017. The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belarusian Interior Ministry officer films nearby journalists as another carries confiscated equipment to police bus near the office of Belsat channel as they conduct a search in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017.  The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Belarusian Interior Ministry officer films nearby journalists as another carries confiscated equipment to police bus near the office of Belsat channel as they conduct a search in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017. The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

  • Belarusian Interior Ministry officer films nearby journalists, near the office of Belsat channel as they conduct a search in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017.  The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Belarusian Interior Ministry officer films nearby journalists, near the office of Belsat channel as they conduct a search in the office in capital Minsk, Belarus, on Friday, March 31, 2017. The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, and is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television, reported amid the Friday raids that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

Police in authoritarian Belarus are searching the offices of a Polish satellite TV channel that has given extensive coverage to a recent wave of anti-government protests.

The Belsat channel, which is part of Polish public broadcaster TVP, is aimed at providing an alternative to Belarus' state-controlled television.

Belsat reported Friday that police were seizing equipment at two of its offices in Minsk, the capital.

Hundreds of people were arrested over the weekend in unsanctioned protests in Minsk. The protests followed sporadic demonstrations across the country over the past two months, an unusually persistent show of defiance in the former Soviet republic.

Andrei Bastunets, head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, said: "The attack on Belsat is only part of a new wave of repression against independent journalists."