Statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum In connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the media and the detention of journalists
On August 7, 2018, the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus disseminated information on the initiation of a criminal case under Part 2 of Art. 349 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (unauthorized access to computer information, committed with a different personal interest, which caused significant harm). Over the past two days, offices were searched by a number of Belarusian media: BelaPAN, Tut.by, the newspaper Kultura, Realt.by.
ARTICLE 19 condemns the recent wave of police raids on independent media outlets in Belarus, resulting in the detention of several journalists, at least seven of which remain in detention. We call on the government of Belarus to immediately and unconditionally release all detained journalists and to refrain from further harassment.
Міжнародная і Еўрапейская федэрацыі журналістаў (IFJ / EFJ) падтрымала заклікі сябра-арганізацыі Беларускай асацыяцыі журналістаў (БАЖ) неадкладна вызваліць групу журналістаў, затрыманую пасля рэйдаў Следчага камітэта.
August 7 Investigation Committee of Belarus spread information on the launch of a criminal case under Article 349 Part 2 of the Belarus Criminal Code (unauthorized access to computer information, made out of personal interest that caused significant damage). The police arresed journalists Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina, Halina Ulasik, Ulyana Babayed (Tut.by) and Tatsiana Karavenkova (BelaPAN). We know of detentions of several more journalists.
25-30-year-olds are taking the lead in newsrooms and management of media outlets. They are the people of different mind frame. Their values and ideas are different from those of the generation who created the independent media of modern Belarus. Journalist Alexander Burakou discusses the generation gap and why those the fighters for the freedom of speech of the 1990s have lost.
Public discussion of changes in the Law on Mass Media: We are like a frog in a heated water that doesn’t feel she’ll be cooked soon
The Belarusian Association of Journalists held a roundtable on the amendments to the Law on Mass Media. Lawyers, editors and journalists assessed the proposed changes and discussed opportunities to influence the legislators’ decision.
Andrei Bastunets: ‘The Dialogue with the EU Continues, but Problems with Freedom of Speech Remain to be Unsolved’
Andrei Bastunets, the Chairperson of Belarusian Association of Journalists expressed his concern with the fact, that the dialogue with the EU in the framework of ‘Eastern Partnership’ program continues, but it doesn’t result in any progress with situation with human rights in Belarus.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists Protests against Blocking Access to Social and Political Web-sites
The blocking of access to the Charter’97 Web-site was the second decision of the Ministry of Information of Belarus within a month’s term to restrict access to popular informational Web-resources on the territory of Belarus. It should be reminded that another decision to disable access to the ‘Belarusian Partisan’ (belpartisan.org) Web-site was taken by the Ministry in December 2017.