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April 27, 2011

After deadly metro blast, Belarus cracks down on press

Belarusian authorities must immediately stop harassing independent media outlets in retaliation for their critical reporting on the recent lethal bombing on the Minsk subway, New York-based press freedom group Community to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. Following the blast, authorities--including the Information Ministry, the general prosecutor's office, and the Belarusian security service (KGB)—launched a campaign of intimidation against independent and pro-opposition media outlets... MORE
April 21, 2011

Belarus: Authorities target journalists again after April 11 metro bombing

A bombing in the Minsk metro on April 11, which killed 13 people, has prompted a new round of official warnings to the Belarus news media similar to previous attempts to intimidate and silence them, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. “We urge the government to stop the almost daily harassment and threats against journalists who are just trying to do their job,” the press freedom organisation said. “The Minsk metro bombing must not be used as a pretext to... MORE
April 12, 2011

Belarus jails prominent journalist and adds new charge

Belarusian authorities must drop politicized libel and insult charges against Andrzej Poczobut , a Grodno-based correspondent for Poland's largest daily, Gazeta Wyborcza , and release him immediately, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. Prosecutors in Grodno opened a criminal investigation against Poczobut on March 28 and charged him with insulting President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus through articles he published in Gazeta Wyborcza and... MORE
April 10, 2011

Belarus: Gazeta Wyborcza correspondent Andrey Pachobut arrested again

Andrey Pachobut , the correspondent of the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza , has been detained since April 6, when he was arrested as he was trying to leave the western city of Hrodna to take part in a videoconference in Minsk with Members of the European Parliament about the persecution of journalists in Belarus. It seems that the government’s conciliatory gestures in recent days were designed solely to woo the international community and persuade countries to resume their aid to Belarus, which... MORE
March 31, 2011

Reporter for Polish paper faces insult charge in Belarus

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Belarusian authorities to stop the politically motivated prosecution of Andrzej Poczobut , a prominent correspondent for Poland's largest daily, Gazeta Wyborcza . On Monday, prosecutors in the western city of Grodno filed criminal charges against Poczobut for allegedly insulting Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in articles printed in Gazeta Wyborcza and the Belarusian news website Belarussky Partizan beginning in October 2010,... MORE
March 31, 2011

Open season declared on Belarus journalists

There has been no let up in the harassment of journalists that began on the eve of on March 25, which the Belarusian opposition celebrates as Freedom Day. President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s apparently panicked government is deploying all possibly means to silence its critics, with growing success. The country’s independent journalists have more need than ever of support from their colleagues abroad, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. The latest journalist to... MORE
March 25, 2011

Belarus: Increased harassment of journalists on eve of Freedom Day

Journalists Aleksandr Lomashkin and Ales Asiptsu were arrested in separate incidents Thursday, on the eve of “Dzen Voly” (Freedom Day), an event that is traditionally celebrated by the Belarusian opposition, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. A Russian journalist and founder of the human rights website Svoboda, Lomashkin was forced to get off a train from the Russian city of Chelyabinsk at the Belarusian border crossing at Orsh. After being searched by... MORE
March 1, 2011

Belarussian journalist says KGB attempted to recruit her as informant

Journalist Natallya Radzina has alleged that that KGB officers had subjected her to psychological pressure and attempted to recruit her as an informant while she was in the KGB detention center in Minsk, according to At a news conference held on Monday, presidential candidate Ales Mikhalevich, who was released from the jail on his own recognisance on February 19, three weeks later than Ms. Radzina, accused the KGB of torturing him and forcing him to agree to act as its informant. The... MORE
February 12, 2011

Andrzej Poczobut sentenced to prison in Belarus

Andrzej Poczobut, a Grodno correspondent for the largest Polish daily, Gazeta Wyborcza , has been sentenced to prison. According to reports in the local press, the Oktyabrsky District Court in Minsk sentenced Poczobut to 15 days in jail on charges of "participation in the unsanctioned protest rally" that followed the December 19 presidential elections. Poczobut covered the protests for Gazeta Wyborcza , he told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in January. It is the second time in a... MORE
February 1, 2011

Belarus: Two journalists released shortly before EU imposes sanctions

The European Union’s foreign ministers on Monday banned Ukrainian President Alexander Lukashenko and 157 other Belarusian officials from visiting the EU and extended an existing asset freeze in response to the detention of 37 opposition figures and government critics since a disputed presidential election on December 19, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The Belarusian authorities had been expecting the sanctions and, in an apparent attempt to head... MORE