Journalists deprived of accreditation in Belarus on August 29:
After the arbitrary detention of about 50 journalists on Thursday, the Belarusian authorities are stepping up the withdrawal of press accreditations for journalists covering the country’s news for foreign media. A wall of silence is gradually isolating Belarus from the rest of the world. The EFJ condemns the inaction and wait-and-see attitude of the international community. The Belarusian Interdepartmental Commission on Security in the Information Sphere has proceeded to a massive cancellation of press accreditations issued to journalists working for foreign media (AFP, AP, ARD, BBC, RFE/RL, Reuters, RFI…) in recent days.
The journalists of the German TV channel ARD detained the day before in Minsk and have been stripped of their accreditation. Russian representatives will be deported from Belarus. A protocol has been drawn up against the Belarusian representative Ilia Kuzniatsou for his alleged participation in a mass action. It also became known that Belarusian journalists working for the BBC, Reuters, Radio Svaboda, AFP and others have been denied accreditation.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) on Friday demanded the opening of a criminal investigation against those who detained at least 47 journalists on Thursday 27 August to prevent them from covering the protests against disputed President Lukashenko in Belarus. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) fully supports the legal proceedings initiated by its affiliate BAJ.
Belarusian journalists have long worked under extremely difficult conditions and have had to contend with limited access to information and the severe curtailment of freedom of speech. Volha Siakhovich looks at the latest media crackdown sparked by the recent presidential election and at how journalists have responded to the government’s actions.
On August 27, the police detained the journalists covering events on Freedom and Independence Square in Minsk. They were taken to Kastrychnitski police department for checking their ids. Altogether, about 50 journalists were detained. The police released most of them after checking their documents. However, four journalists refused to give their smartphones to police for a check-up. Therefore, the police drew up reports with charges of participation in an unauthorized mass action. Katsiaryna Andreyeva, Maksim Harchanok, Aliaksandr Vasiukovich, and Andrei Yarashevich were left in custody until trial. Swedish journalist Paul Hansen will be deported. Swedish ambassador to Belarus Christina Johannesson came to the Kastrychnitski police station where the journalists were kept. Paul Hansen is to leave Belarus tomorrow. He is banned from travelling to Belarus for 5 years. BelaPAN journalist Tatsiana Karavenkova was taken to hospital by an ambulance.
Riot policeman deliberately shoots at Nasha Niva journalist Natalia Lubneuskaya from 10 meters VIDEO
Nasha Niva journalist Natalia Lubneuskaya was injured by a rubber bullet on August 10.
Representatives of law-enforcement agencies brutally detained four independent journalists in Babruysk (Mahilou region) on August 10, 2020. Three of them were detained next to the local pretrial detention center, where the relatives of the previously locked up Babruysk dwellers gathered and waited for court decisions. The fourth journalist was taken into custody at his wife’s work place.