MFA to reaccredit foreign media, all old accreditation cards revoked

02.10.2020 Source: BAJ Press Service

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed a new Regulation on the procedure for accreditation of foreign media in Belarus.

Therefore, all previously issued accreditation cards are no longer valid as of October 2. 

On Monday, 5 October 2020, MFA's Commission on Accreditation of Foreign Journalists will begin its work with new members. Online application forms are to be available on Monday morning. To apply for accreditation, one is to fill out a questionnaire in the Press Service section of the MFA's website. One may apply for  temporary or permanent accreditation. 

The new Regulation defines new terms for consideration of applications: 5 days for a temporary accreditation, and 30 days for a permanent one.

"In accordance with the concept of information security of the Republic of Belarus, 'the most important goal of information security is the information sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus". -- In the current situation we have to exercise our sovereign right and apply the necessary protective measures, including the new Regulation, -- says MFA on its website.

In late August, the Belarusian authorities deprived several journalists working for foreign media of accreditation. Thus, according to the Belarusian legislation, they are not allowed to cover events in the country.

The journalists who were deprived of accreditation worked for BBC, RFE/RL, Current Time TV, ARD, Deutsche Welle, RFI, Reuters, Associated Press, and France-Presse.

September 18 the Ministry of Information filed a lawsuit to the Economic Court to shut down TUT.BY media outlet. The Ministry of Information explains, the reason for the lawsuit were four warnings "due to violation of articles 4 and 49 of the Law on Mass Media by TUT.BY" The warnings were issued by the Ministry of Information itself, the facts of violation of the law were not established by court, while the deadline for the appeal against three of the warnings has not yet expired, although the Ministry claims the opposite in its press release. By his order of September 29, 2020, Minister of Information Ihar Lutski suspended production of the online media outlet TUT.BY from October 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020. This restricts the country's largest media - TUT.BY - from sending journalists in field to cover street protests.

Protests against the fraudulent election results continue since August 9.

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