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October 3, 2014

Belarus: Journalists harassed for work published by foreign media

The Belarusian Association of Journalists has declared it unlawful to prosecute reporters whose names and materials appear in foreign mass media. Pressure on these journalists bears clear characteristics of threat and blackmailing, and contradicts national legislative norms as well as to obligations of the Republic of Belarus to ensure freedom of information under international agreements, it said. On September 25, the Babruysk district court fined Maryna Malchanava , a journalist of the non-... MORE
July 10, 2014

IFJ / EFJ welcome release of Belarusian Ales Bialiatski

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have welcomed the release of prominent Belarusian journalist and human rights activist, Ales Bialiatski , but have condemned the long and unjust period he has endured in prison. According to IFJ/EFJ affiliate, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Bialiatski, head of the human rights center Viasna and a member of BAJ, was released from prison on 21 June. He was informed that he was... MORE
August 8, 2011

Belarus: Heavy fines for two independent newspapers

Harassment of the independent newspapers Narodnaya Volya and Nasha Niva continues despite last month’s withdrawal of a legal bid to have them closed. They have each been fined 14 million roubles (2,000 euros) for the warnings they had received from the information ministry in recent months. Narodnaya Volya has said it intends to appeal. “Two weeks after giving the two newspapers encouraging signs, the authorities have put on a new show of force by imposing a fine that penalizes journalistic... MORE
July 15, 2011

Belarus: Imminent closure threat lifted for two newspapers but harassment continue

The Belarus information ministry has withdrawn two complaints against independent dailies Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya under which they had been threatened with closure since April 25. The complaints were withdrawn during hearings before the Supreme Economic Court on July 12 and 13, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The move was a “rare example of good sense,” Nasha Niva editor Andrei Skurko said. “The pressure of public opinion on the authorities... MORE
July 1, 2011

Belarus police detain and beat a dozen reporters

In a new crackdown against the independent press, Belarusian police briefly detained and beat more than a dozen reporters, and broke their equipment at a Wednesday protest rally in Minsk and Brest, according to news reports and CPJ sources in Belarus. According to the Minsk-based Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), among the reporters and photojournalists detained and beaten by police and possible security agents in plainclothes in Minsk were Oleg Boldyrev and Maksim Lomakin (BBC... MORE
June 14, 2011

In Belarus, Poczobut in closed trial for 'insulting' leader

Belarusian authorities must end the retaliatory prosecution of Andrzej Poczobut , a Grodno-based correspondent for the largest Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza , and release him immediately, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. Authorities put Poczobut on trial today in the western city of Grodno, local and international press reported. The trial is a closed one. He is being prosecuted for allegedly insulting and libeling President Aleksandr... MORE
June 1, 2011

Russian journalist deported from Belarus

Rodion Marinichev , a special correspondent for the Moscow-based online broadcaster Dozhd (The Rain), has been deported from from Belarus, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Police in Minsk detained Marinichev on Monday, after he interviewed Irina Khalip, a prominent Belarusian journalist who had been handed a suspended two year prison term. Following his detention, Marinichev was deported from Belarus that same day, local and international... MORE
May 31, 2011

Belarus: Russian journalist deported, banned from returning for five years

Russian TV reporter Rodion Marinichev was given 24 hours to leave the country after his arrest May 30 in Minsk and was banned from returning for five years. His deportation came just days after President Alexander Lukashenko urged his government to rein in news media which, in his view, have been “creating the panic” that is the cause of the country’s current economic crisis. “We condemn the government’s tendency to blame the media for every crisis,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters... MORE
May 16, 2011

Belarus: Irina Khalip handed a suspended two-year prison term

New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the conviction and sentencing of Irina Khalip , the Minsk-based correspondent for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta , and called on Belarusian authorities to acquit her on appeal. The Zavodskoi District Court in Minsk May 16 declared Khalip guilty of "organising and preparing activities severely disruptive of public order," and gave her a two-year suspended prison term, local and international... MORE
April 28, 2011

Belarus: Two leading independent newspapers threatened with closure

The Belarus Information ministry on April 25 requested the Supreme Economic Court to shut down two prominent weekly newspapers, Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya , under article 51, subsection 2.2, of the mass media law. This article says that any media organization can be closed after receiving two warnings from the information ministry in a single year. “The closure of Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya would be an extremely grave decision,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières... MORE