Belarusian media workers behind bars. Portraits

As campaigning for the 2020 elections began, the Belarusian authorities launched a war on journalists and independent media. They were stripped of their press cards, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, arrested and detained for weeks, and charged with criminal offenses. Since then, journalists have been arrested on more than 500 occasions. The Belarusian Association of Journalists monitors all cases of harassment of journalists and media workers. Below, you will find information on those imprisoned on criminal charges. 


Tatsiana Pytko, wife of imprisoned cameraman Viachaslau Lazarau, detained

The woman was arrested on June 6 and is currently in custody. Tatsiana and Viachaslau’s daughter, who is just over a year old, has been sent to a children’s hospital as there is no family or guardian nearby.


Lukashenka Pardons Russian Jailed After Forced Landing Of Commercial Flight

MINSK -- Authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has pardoned Sofia Sapega, a Russian citizen who was serving a six-year prison term in Belarus on charges related to civil disturbances that followed a disputed 2020 presidential election.


Mother of imprisoned journalist Larysa Shchyrakova dies

Larysa Shchyrakova’s mother was 80 years old. She had a severe form of COVID-19 last year and suffered many complications. In her last months she could not move by herself and was bedridden. Larysa’s father, 88, took care of her, RFE/RL Belarus reported.


Free speech in Belarus: fighting for the truth in a climate of oppression (15th June)

The event will be held in-person and online 15th June. The simultaneous interpretation from English to Russian will be available for those joining online.


Torch of Solidarity with Jailed Belarusian Journalists Passes to Copenhagen

At the congress of the Danish Helsinki Committee, influential human rights activists voiced their support for media workers who remain behind bars in Belarus.



January - April. PDF


"For them, the events in our region are a conflict between Russia and satellite countries." Belarusian journalist talks about visiting South Korea

Two years ago, journalist and documentarian Mikhail Arshynski received an award for a film about the 2020 political campaign at the Hinzpeter Awards Documentary Film Festival in South Korea. And now he has been invited back to the country that until recently was a brutal autocracy and very much resembled modern Belarus. Our colleague shared with BAJ his impressions of Asian democracy, his vision of the situation in our region, and the role of the media.


The Union of Journalists of Finland held a rally in support of Belarusian political prisoners who worked in media

The Council of the Union of Journalists expressed support and solidarity with the Belarusian colleagues who are now behind bars.


Belarusian journalist Yauhen Merkis sentenced to 4 years in prison

In response to a Belarusian court sentencing journalist Yauhen Merkis to four years in prison on Tuesday, May 30, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the statement.