Increased repression against the Belarusian Union of Journalists

16.06.2023 Source: Annika Heldt, Journalisten

The regime in Belarus has declared that the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) logo is an extremist symbol.

In March, Journalisten reported that the acclaimed Belarusian journalists' union BAJ, which was already declared illegal by the regime in 2021, is now classified as an "extremist group" by the KGB security police. The 1,300 members thus risk ten years in prison through their membership.

Now the authorities' repression is increasing even further. BAJ's website and social media channels are classified as criminal and subscribing to them is a crime. Anyone who stores texts or objects with BAJ's logo can be held administratively responsible.

According to a statement from BAJ, the logo can be found on a number of documents at, among other things, state institutions, agencies and in archives.

"The new attacks against BAJ are undoubtedly a continuation of the political pressure on the organization and independent journalists for their work," BAJ writes in the statement.

The organization has called on fellow journalists in Belarus to remove any items or documents with the logo.

Read more:

“I stay so that those who have been imprisoned or forced to leave have a place to return to”. Motivations of journalists who choose to stay in Belarus

“If one of us is imprisoned, the other one takes the child and leaves the country.” The key from the report of human rights activists on the psychological state of political emigrants

"We stand by the truth, we stand together!" A marathon of solidarity with the imprisoned journalists started in Vilnius