We have been informed about searches and arrests in a number of most prominent Belarusian media. This information is of great concern for the Council of Europe. Moreover, some of those concerned are our long-standing partners well known as high-level professionals. Legislation must be respected but investigations do not always require arrests which should be used as an ultimate tool.
We therefore call on the Belarusian investigative authorities to ensure rapid and transparent investigation. We also call for liberating all the arrested journalists. Freedom of media is one of the most important human rights in a democratic society. It should be thoroughly respected everywhere in Europe.
Daniel Höltgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General