The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM), Teresa Ribeiro, met online today with representatives of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and editors of several independent media outlets to discuss the current state of freedom of expression and media freedom in Belarus.
Ribeiro met with BAJ members Andrei Bastunets (Chairperson), Oleg Ageev, Boris Goretskiy and Olga Khvoin. She also met with Marina Zolotova from the media portal Tut.by; Irina Levshina from BelaPAN news agency; Aleksy Dzikawicki with Belsat TV channel; Irina Novik from the news portal, Hrodna.life; Vladimir Yanukevich with Intex-Press newspaper; and Alexey Kozliuk from Human Constanta, a human rights organization.
The Representative expressed her serious concern regarding the negative implications of the ongoing political developments in the country on the work of media outlets and the continued persecutions and harassment of media actors and professionals. She also noted the worrisome legal developments in the country and their potential to negatively affect freedom of expression and free flow of information, both offline and online.
Ribeiro thanked the participants for their courage and continued dedication to media freedom principles, despite the various challenges to journalists’ safety in Belarus in recent months.