8 years in prison. Andrzej Poczobut’s conviction is revenge for dissent, says BAJ and demands the journalist’s release
On 8 February, Hrodna Regional Court sentenced Andrzej Poczobut, a prominent Belarusian journalist, publicist, and member of the Union of Poles in Belarus, to eight years in prison. Poczobut was found guilty of encouraging actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus and inciting ethnic hostility.
BAJ nominates National Union of Journalists of Ukraine for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
Last year, the Belarusian Association of Journalists won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. 46 countries, as well as many journalistic organizations globally, nominated BAJ for this award. Among them was the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, BAJ’s close partner.
Narodnaya Volya SMM worker detained
The security forces detained Anastasia Sharkevich who administered the Narodnaya Volya Telegram channel, as reported by a pro-regime Telegram channel. Zerkalo informs that Sharkevich is accused of calling for blocking traffic, mass riots, and other illegal actions.
Andrei Bastunets lodges individual complaint to UN HRC over BAJ’s forced liquidation
The individual communication is filed under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
RFE/RL Belarus director resigns after 25 years
Aliaksandr Lukashuk, RFE/RL Belarus director, is leaving the agency, Radio Liberty reports.
Journalist Pavel Padabed taken into custody after 15 days of administrative detention
February 4 was to mark the release date of cameraman Pavel Padabed from 15-day administrative detention. However, the Belarusian Association of Journalists found out that he was transferred to Minsk pre-trial detention center and a criminal case was brought against him instead.
Freedom of media and sustainable development — Belarus
The achievement of sustainable development goals in Belarus is undoubtedly impossible without independent media and journalists allowing the general public access to information of public interest. However, the state of media freedom and the right of access to information in Belarus is deteriorating year by year. The 2020 presidential election period has been a critical milestone that launched a large-scale policy process against independent media, accompanied by official attempts to control all information dissemination, as well as suppress dissent.
Viktar Malisheuski appointed new KYKY.org editor-in-chief
In an unusual utopian column, KYKY.org media announced that Viktar Malisheuski, a well-known Belarusian journalist, became the new editor-in-chief of the publication.
Final charges laid against media manager Kanstantsin Zalatykh
The Belarusian Association of Journalists was informed that on 31 January, the final indictment was brought against Kanstantsin Zalatykh, director of the Belorusy i Rynok newspaper. He has been in custody for eight months now. As lawyers of political prisoners are bound by strict conditions on non-disclosure pledges, they refrain from any comments.
List of “extremist” content updated: Ukrainian TV channel, film about Pavel Sharamet, popular pranker’s pages
The Ministry of Information updated the Republican Extremist Content List. New media from Belarus and Ukraine and certain video content were declared extremist.