Harsh sentences for Maryna Zolatava and Ludmila Chekina avenge the truth TUT.BY delivered to millions
Minsk City Court considered in camera the criminal case against the editor-in-chief of the largest Belarusian media outlet TUT.BY, Maryna Zolatava, and TUT.BY CEO Ludmila Chekina. Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich found the TUT.BY workers guilty and imposed huge sentences: Maryna Zolatava received 12 years of imprisonment, Ludmila Chekina – 12 years of imprisonment.
Journalists and human rights defenders are not extremists. BAJ considers it absurd that the organization was recognized as "extremist". STATEMENT
On March 7, it became known that the State Security Committee of Belarus recognized the Belarusian Association of Journalists as an extremist formation. BAJ became the first Belarusian human rights organization that ”received" such a status.
8 years in prison. Andrzej Poczobut’s conviction is revenge for dissent, says BAJ and demands the journalist’s release
On 8 February, Hrodna Regional Court sentenced Andrzej Poczobut, a prominent Belarusian journalist, publicist, and member of the Union of Poles in Belarus, to eight years in prison. Poczobut was found guilty of encouraging actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus and inciting ethnic hostility.
BAJ nominates National Union of Journalists of Ukraine for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
Last year, the Belarusian Association of Journalists won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. 46 countries, as well as many journalistic organizations globally, nominated BAJ for this award. Among them was the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, BAJ’s close partner.
The achievement of sustainable development goals in Belarus is undoubtedly impossible without independent media and journalists allowing the general public access to information of public interest. However, the state of media freedom and the right of access to information in Belarus is deteriorating year by year. The 2020 presidential election period has been a critical milestone that launched a large-scale policy process against independent media, accompanied by official attempts to control all information dissemination, as well as suppress dissent.
Joint statement by the Belarusian human rights community
A court in Minsk sentenced investigative journalist Sergei Satsuk to eight years in prison on Wednesday. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) denounce this illegitimate conviction and demand his immediate release.
The Minsk Regional Court sentenced journalists of the oldest independent news agency BelaPAN to long terms of imprisonment.