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.
Blogger Zmitser Kzou (aka Gray Cat) charged under Article 342 Part 1 of the Criminal Code (organization or active participation in group actions grossly violating public order) was recognized political prisoner by the human rights community of Belarus.
Dzmitry Kazlou aka Grey Cat, a Youtuber from the town of Baran, has become a defendant in a case under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organisation or participation in group actions that grossly violate public order), he said in a letter to human rights defender Pavel Levinau.
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:
The Belarusian authorities “must end politically motivated prosecutions, intimidation, harassment and reprisals against Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s opponents and their supporters, civil society activists and independent media,” Amnesty International said.
The human rights community of Belarus has recognized the blogger of MozgON YouTube channel Uladzimir Tsyhanovich and Brest blogger Alyaksandr Kabanau as political prisoners, spring96.org reports.
STATEMENT: BAJ outraged at arrest of bloggers, and calls on the authorities to abide by international standards and obligations
In the past few days Belarus authorities arrested well-known political bloggers and Telegram channel authors Ihar Losik ( Belarus Golovnogo Mozga), Siarhei Piatrukhin, Aliaksandr Kabanau, Aliaksandr Andreyeu (Orsha dlia Zhizni), Uladzimir Niaronski (Slutsk dlia Zhizni;), Uladzimir Tsyhanovich (MozgON) and Siarhei Sparysh (moderator of Telegram channels of the Narodnaya Hramada party organizing committee).
Statement Publishers Council of the Local Newspaper Association in support of Belarusian colleagues
A criminal investigator informed Viasna member Uladzimir Vialichkin, on June 25 Brest blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin was sent to a temporary detention facility in Minsk. He is arrested along with Siarhei Tsikhanouski and at least another 10 people in a criminal case under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code initiated after the events in Hrodna on May 29.
On Thursday afternoon, law enforcers showed a search warrant to blogger Ihar Losik, who is also an administrator of popular Telegram channel Беларусь головного мозга (Belarus Of The Brain). After the search, Losik was detained..