Following the parliamentary elections in Belarus in November, the Representation of Sweden to the EU hosted a meeting on 21 November with experts from Belarus and representatives of the EU Member States and institutions. The aim was to get an update on the impressions of how the elections were implemented and the situation for journalists.
Reporters were not allowed to shoot or were put in conditions which made it impossible to work. Here are some facts from the recent election coverage.
Once again, a major sports event is met with criticism for being placed in a semi-authoritarian regime with bad human rights records. The EOC vice president defends the decision of awarding the European Games to Minsk but is ready to discuss how to implement broader human rights demands for countries hosting Olympic events.
(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities have carried out concerted attacks on media freedom over the past two years that directly affect the climate in which news media will cover the country before, during, and after the upcoming European Games, Human Rights Watch said. The European Olympic Committees (EOC) should ensure that all journalists, foreign and local, covering the 2019 European Games, from June 21-30, in Belarus, can operate free from harassment.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir has started a visit to Minsk by meeting with the leadership of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and representatives of non-state media.
The Investigative Committee has instigated on the criminal case under Art. 349 Part 2 of the Criminal Code (unauthorized access to computer information, made of other personal interest that results in substantial harm). Guilty: Zolatava to Pay a Fine and BelTA Costs Statement of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and Belarusian Pen Center on Conviction of Maryna Zolatava
UN Member states acknowledged in the 1995 Beijing platform the important role media plays in shaping the public’s perception of women in society and their role in the advancement of women, but recent studies highlight how little progress has been made and the continued use of gender-based stereotypes in the media.
Statement of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and Belarusian Pen Center on Conviction of Maryna Zolatava
On March 4 Zavadski court of Minsk imposed a fine of 7, 650 BYN and BelTA's court costs of 6, 000 BYN on Maryna Zolatava, the chief editor of the most popular Belarusian Internet portal Tut.by, for "dereliction of duty" (Art. 425 of the Criminal Code). The verdict has not become final yet.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the heavy fine that a court in Minsk imposed today on Maryna Zolatava, the editor of the leading news website Tut.by. The fine is just one more attempt to intimidate the few remaining independent media outlets in Belarus, RSF said.