The Belarusian Association of Journalists expresses words of solidarity with our prosecuted colleagues and calls for solidarity to the civil society, international organizations and everyone who shares the values of truthful and unbiased journalism.
Statement of the public association “Belarusian Association of Journalists”
On September 8, the International Day of Journalists’ solidarity is marked worldwide.
This year, journalists of Belarusian non-state mass media are still faced with persecution from the authorities, with the culmination of repressions being the so-called “BelTA case”.
The Investigative Committee named ten our colleagues as suspects in the case: Ulyana Babayed, Pauliuk Bykowski, Dzmitry Bobryk, Hanna Yermachonak, Maryna Zolatava, Hanna Kaltyhina, Tatsiana Karaviankova, Iryna Leushyna, Halina Ulasik, Alyaksei Zhukau.
In August, the journalists went through searches in editorial offices and at home, seizure of equipment, ungrounded detentions, arrests, and now are banned from leaving Belarus. Many other media workers were also searched and questioned.
Also, this year, the authorities staged the record judicial prosecution of journalists who contribute to the TV channel Belsat and the Belarusian Radio Racyja. Since the start of 2018, Belarusian journalists, whose right to gather, store and disseminate information is guaranteed by the Constitution, got fined over 70 times for cooperation with foreign mass media without accreditation to the total sum of over 60 thousand rubles.
Despite all these circumstances, non-state mass media in Belarus keep being the source of accurate, timely and verified information. Journalists of non-state mass media raise the most acute social issues that are hardly ever covered in state press.
That is why today the Belarusian Association of Journalists expresses solidarity with our colleagues.
We appeal to the civil society, political parties, the international community, all colleagues and citizens who share the values of truthful and unbiased journalism to support the media.