Belarusian journalists under crackdown need your support now! BAJ calls for international solidarity

05.02.2021 Source: Пресс-служба ОО "Белорусская ассоциация журналистов"

Belarusian Association of Journalists appeals to colleagues around the world

Dear colleagues!

For the last six months, the authorities have been carrying out a total crackdown on independent journalists and media in Belarus. Your solidarity is very important for us now.

In 2020, we saw a storm of repression against journalists covering the presidential election and the following protests. The authorities detained journalists 477 times, 62 journalists experienced violence, and more than 50 media websites were blocked. In total, the journalists spent more than 1,200 days in jail.

The Belarusian authorities began 2021 with even tougher pressure on the media. The authorities started actively using criminal prosecution against journalists, media managers, and publishers. Currently, 9 representatives of the media and Press Club Belarus are in prison on criminal charges. They face heavy prison sentences on politically motivated charges.

The next trial against journalists will begin in Minsk on February 9 — Belsat reporters Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Daria Chultsova, who were livestreaming from a protest on November 15, are now charged with coordinating the protests. They face up to 3 years in prison.

Since early 2021, the authorities have continued to attack the editorial offices of national and regional media. The police seized equipment from independent news agency BelaPAN, and from the leadership of Binkl.by, Hrodna.life and NewGrodno.by.

In the face of escalating pressure on the press, BAJ asks all international partners, international organizations and journalists' unions for support.

 What can you do?

- Make a statement in support of independent journalists and media in Belarus. Publish it on your website and in social networks, send it to the Embassy of Belarus in your country, and send a copy to BAJ.

- Appeal to the governments of your countries asking them to raise the issue of repressions against Belarusian journalists at the international level as often as possible.

- Express solidarity with Belarusian colleagues who are now suffering repression and are in prison, and demand their release.

Journalists and independent media in Belarus really need your solidarity and support now.

If you have any questions or ideas, please contact us at baj@baj.by

Repressions against journalists in Belarus, 2021 (chart)

FIGURES OF THE YEAR. Repression of media and journalists in Belarus in 2020