Independent media advocate and journalist tell of challenges covering Belarus’s upcoming elections and coronavirus
As Belarus’s August 9, 2020, presidential election nears with President Aleksandr Lukashenko vying to remain in power after 26 years in office, press freedom advocates say Belarusian authorities are cracking down on journalists and government critics.
Amnesty International: Bloggers and activists arrested in purge ahead of the presidential election must be released
Responding to the news that at least three more prominent Belarusian bloggers — Ihar Losik, Syarhei Pyatrukhin and Syarhei Sparish— were arrested on Thursday, as part of a crackdown ahead of the presidential election on 9 August, Aisha Jung, Amnesty International’s Senior Campaigner on Belarus, said:
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the arrests of many journalists in the past days in Belarus, as the authorities try by every possible means to stop them covering rallies in support of opposition candidates in the upcoming presidential election. The European Union must press the government to stop the harassment, RSF said.
How Belarusian officials withhold information about COVID-19 from the public. Editors of Belarusian media tell their stories
State propaganda accuses independent colleagues of misinformation and whipping up public hysteria, authorities threaten them with warnings and fines. At the same time, officials meet the journalists with a wall of silence. It is extremely difficult to get either their comments, or official responses to media enquiries. Belarusian Association of Journalists asked colleagues from different media to tell their stories on how officials denied them information.
A few months ago, EJ.BY chief editor, Siarhei Satsuk faced pressure from the high and the mighty and left a text with Euroradio he asked to publish in case of his arrest. He describes the reasons for his possible arrest and the threats he had received from the "messenger" — a representative of a businessman from the health care industry. On March 25, 2020, Satsuk was arrested by officers of the Financial Investigation Department of the State Control Committee of Belarus. Allegedly, he is suspected of taking a bribe.
Tatsiana Tkachova: If I stop loving the process, stop loving the way the cherries bloom, then it's time to die
Tatsiana Tkachova, World Press Photo nominee in the "portrait" category shares emotions with BAJ.BY, and tells what she finds really important and how to learn photography.
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.