Open Letter To Imprisoned Journalists And Media Workers In Belarus by Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights
21 May is the Day of the Political Prisoner in Belarus.
On 18 May, KGB officers detained Kanstantsin Zalatykh, director of the Belorusy i Rynok newspaper, Yulia Kakhno, a bookkeeper of the newspaper, and Andrei Aleksandrovich, Belorusy i Rynok editor-in-chief.
Baranavichy journalist Yury Hantsarevich detained two weeks ago was charged with the facilitation of extremist activity and transferred to a remand prison, according to the sources of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
A 23-year-old correspondent of Baranavichy-based Intex-Press has been criminally charged for facilitation of extremist activities (Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code), reports the pro-government Telegram channel ‘Obratnaya storona’.
Belarusian journalist Iryna Slaunikava has been in custody for six months. The former Belsat reporter and currently a staff member of Polish Television (TVP) is a political prisoner and will soon face trial. She is accused of committing crimes under two articles of the Criminal Code, informs Belsat.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) has been named as the laureate of the 2022 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, following the recommendation of the International Jury of media professionals. The Award Ceremony will take place on 2 May in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference, and be streamed online.
Bird in Flight magazine launches a charity sale of 74 works of Ukrainian photographers. Organized in partnership with the Peace for Art foundation, the sale is supported by the Ensemble Ukraine association. Raised funds will be transferred to the “Posmishka UA” organization in Zaporizhzhia, which supports orphans and families with children affected by the war. Currently, Zaporizhzhia hosts a lot of refugees from Mariupol — the city, which faces one of the gravest situations in Ukraine. Refugees had to flee Mariupol under constant shelling, with no food, water, and electricity.
April 22, Aksana Kolb's relatives reported that she was charged under Part 1 of Article. 342 of the Criminal Code - "Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them." Aksana Kolb was transferred to a detention center in Minsk.
In Belarus, Lukashenka’s regime continues persecuting independent media and silencing critical voices while at the same time attempting to renew the dialogue with the EU. On 20 April the editor-in-chief of Belarusian leading outlet was brutally detained by special forces. 26 journalists and media professionals remain behind bars.