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Scandinavian Journalists Bid for Freelancers’ Rights in Belarus

07.07.2016 Source: Press service of BAJ Story: Freelance Journalism

Journalists from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, who participated in the seminar held in Ilsetra (Norway) sent a petition to the Minister of Information Liliya Ananich asking to respect labor rights of freelancer journalists, stop pressure on independent journalists and abolish compulsory accreditation.

The petition was signed by 40 journalists, including Tomas Spence, the president of the Norwegian Union of Journalists.

The petition demands to respect workers’ rights and to ensure equal rights in professional activities for all. The term “mass medium’s journalist” is inconsistent with the Belarusian Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression; the notion discriminates those journalists who want to work independently on a freelance basis. In some cases, the situation is used to penalize Belarusian journalists who contribute to foreign mass media that fail to get accreditation in Belarus.

The participants of the seminar launched a fundraising campaign to help compensate over forty fines imposed on journalists for “illegal production of mass media products”.

Recidivist from Journalism (interview from Abajour, abridged)

Accreditation of Foreign Journalists in the OSCE region (OSCE materials)

Article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Violations (Issues)