The authorities are trying to destroy independent journalism in Belarus. Support the Solidarity Marathon!

03.05.2023 Source: BAJ photo, open for free use

Statement of the Belarusian Association of Journalists

The authorities of Belarus continue their brutal attack on journalists and the media, effectively putting independent journalism within the country on the verge of destruction.

Just recently, security forces searched the editorial offices and apartments of journalists of regional publications Info-Kurier (Slutsk) and Rehiyanalnaya Hazeta (Maladzechna), equipment and documents were taken, and the editors of the publications were put behind bars. As a result, two more regional media were forced to suspend their work.

On the eve of the Freedom of the Press Day, the Intex-press publication (Baranavichy) came under persecution, the materials of its website and social networks were recognized by the authorities as extremist on April 29. And a national publication Narodnaya Volya was forced to suspend the publication of their PDF version due to the economic blockade.

As of the morning of May 3, 2023, 33 representatives of Belarusian independent media are in prisons and detention centers in Belarus.

In support of our colleagues, BAJ announces the Solidarity Marathon action. As a reminder to the whole world that free speech is being destroyed in Belarus and journalists are paying with their freedom for doing their job honestly and professionally.

The action symbolically starts on May 3. BAJ organizes it in Vilnius jointly with the Lithuanian Union of Journalists. We remind the Belarusian authorities: journalists are not criminals. There can be no free society without a free press. We demand the release of our colleagues!

We call on journalistic and human rights organizations of the world, well-known public figures to join the action and use their authority to influence the release of Belarusian journalists.

BAJ calls on colleagues all over the world to support the solidarity action!

You can print portraits of imprisoned colleagues, take pictures with them in recognizable places of your city and publish them on social media with the tags #СвабодуЖурналістам and #BecauseTheJournalist, and also send us to baj@baj.by.


Belarusian media workers behind bars. Portraits