The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Tuesday called on the member states of the Council of Europe to put an end to the repression of journalists in Belarus. 159 journalists have been detained since the fraudulent elections of 9 August.
In the morning, the police knocked on the doors of BAJ member Valeria Ulasik. They searched her apartment. She is a suspect in an administrative case. During the search the police seized cell phones, two laptops and flash drives. Her mother, TUT.BY editor Halina Ulasik is not detained. She is talking to a lawyer after the search. Valeria Ulasik is also a journalist, and works in PR sphere.
Journalists were detained while working during the protests.
Today the Lithuanian Union of Journalists’ (LŽS) Journalist Rights Defence and Monitoring Committee officially appealed to the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a proposal to take active action to defend journalists in neighbouring Belarus from baseless persecution.
Volha Siakhovich, a representative of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, delivered speech during the UN Security Council Arria meeting. Since the beginning of the 2020 presidential election campaign, the situation with freedom of speech in Belarus has deteriorated dramatically as the authorities launched a violent crackdown trying to discourage journalists and bloggers from reporting on election-related protests. Since May, the authorities have stepped up their efforts to curb media coverage of the protests in Belarus, with more journalists being arrested than ever before.
For the first time since the fraudulent elections in Belarus, journalists demonstrated in front of the Interior Ministry in Minsk. They were protesting against the prolonged detention of six journalists. Police also arrested journalist Larysa Shchyrakova in Homiel and journalist Dzmitry Brushko in Minsk on Thursday. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) demand the immediate release of journalists in detention in Belarus.
All the detained journalists are left in the police station for the night.
Journalists deprived of accreditation in Belarus on August 29:
After the arbitrary detention of about 50 journalists on Thursday, the Belarusian authorities are stepping up the withdrawal of press accreditations for journalists covering the country’s news for foreign media. A wall of silence is gradually isolating Belarus from the rest of the world. The EFJ condemns the inaction and wait-and-see attitude of the international community. The Belarusian Interdepartmental Commission on Security in the Information Sphere has proceeded to a massive cancellation of press accreditations issued to journalists working for foreign media (AFP, AP, ARD, BBC, RFE/RL, Reuters, RFI…) in recent days.
The journalists of the German TV channel ARD detained the day before in Minsk and have been stripped of their accreditation. Russian representatives will be deported from Belarus. A protocol has been drawn up against the Belarusian representative Ilia Kuzniatsou for his alleged participation in a mass action. It also became known that Belarusian journalists working for the BBC, Reuters, Radio Svaboda, AFP and others have been denied accreditation.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) on Friday demanded the opening of a criminal investigation against those who detained at least 47 journalists on Thursday 27 August to prevent them from covering the protests against disputed President Lukashenko in Belarus. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) fully supports the legal proceedings initiated by its affiliate BAJ.