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January 27, 2011

Authorities in Belarus seek to suppress news of plight of held journalists

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed its deep concern in respect of the conditions in which journalists and political opponents have been held since the demonstrations of December 19, 2010. “The pressures exerted on them and their defence teams, and the efforts to limit dissemination of news about them, recall the repression campaigns of the Soviet era,” the organization said Monday. Visits by lawyers to their clients are strictly limited under the... MORE
January 19, 2011

Radio station closed in Belarus, journalist fined, homes searched

Authorities in Belarus have closed down a radio station, arrested a journalist and searched the homes of others in the latest chapter of repression of the media in the country, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). These reprisals follow the inquiry launched by the KGB into the demonstration that took place in the center of Minsk on December 19 after it had been announced that Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, had been re-elected president with... MORE
January 12, 2011

Harassment of journalists continues in post-election Belarus

The Belarusian security service, known as the KGB, continues to relentlessly raid newsrooms, confiscate reporting equipment from publications and journalists' homes, imprison independent and pro-opposition journalists, and harass their families, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). At around 4 p.m. on Saturday, three local police officers detained prominent journalist Andrzej Poczobut , a correspondent for Poland's largest daily, Gazeta... MORE
December 30, 2010

In Belarus, more newsroom raids as crackdown continues

Belarusian authorities continued their massive crackdown on critical news media on Tuesday as security agents raided offices shared by the independent weekly Nasha Niva and the Belarusian PEN Center, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). KGB agents confiscated a dozen computers and numerous digital storage devices after producing a search warrant saying the organizations were being investigated on suspicion of organizing public disorder and... MORE
December 21, 2010

A score of journalists arrested in Belarus, many number beaten by police

Around 20 journalists were arrested and a similar number the victims of police violence during the demonstrations that followed Sunday’s announcement of President Alexander Lukashenko’s reelection victory. The protesters and journalists arrested were being tried Monday. Ilya Kuzniatsu, for example, was sentenced to 15 days in prison on a charge of “participating in an illegal demonstration.” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) voiced its support for the statement... MORE
December 20, 2010

IFJ condemns ‘shocking' violence on journalists in Belarus

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has accused authorities in Belarus of "violent bullying and intimidation" of journalists covering a peaceful protest in central Minsk yesterday, saying the brutality exposed the country's fragile attachment to democracy following presidential elections. "The sheer violence and blatant regard of journalists' right to cover a public event were shocking," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary on Monday. "The scenes in Minsk reinforce the image of... MORE
December 13, 2010

Belarus media harassed in run-up to presidential vote

Belarusian authorities must stop harassing independent media outlets and journalists and allow them to cover the December 19 presidential elections without fear of reprisal, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. On Wednesday, the Minsk-based pro-opposition news website Charter 97 reported that authorities had opened their third criminal case this year against the site, based on unspecified materials that prosecutors allegedly found in computers... MORE
December 5, 2010

Belarus closes inverstigation into Aleh Byabenin's death

Belarusian prosecutors have closed their investigation into the September death of Aleh Byabenin, founder and director of the Minsk-based, pro-opposition news website Charter 97. Authorities said Wednesday that they did not find evidence of foul play, according to New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Byabenin's brother found the journalist hanged in a stairway of his summer house outside the capital on September 3, Natalya Radina, editor of Charter 97, told CPJ at the time. A... MORE
September 20, 2010

Harassment continues in run-up to Belarus presidential election

Journalists in Belarus are being hounded in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for December 19. Harassment by the authorities is severely curtailing the already limited freedom of the Belarusian media, which are still reeling from journalist Oleg Bebenin’s mysterious death at the start of September, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The opposition newspaper Narodnaya Volia received a new information ministry warning on September 13 for... MORE
September 11, 2010

Journalist found hanging from stairway in Belarus home

Belarusian authorities must thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Aleh Byabenin (Oleg Bebenin), founder and director of the Minsk-based pro-opposition news website Charter 97, press freedom groups have demanded. Byabenin's brother and several friends found the journalist hanging from a stairway in his summer house outside the capital city of Minsk on Friday at around 5 p.m., Natalya Radina, editor of Charter 97, told New York-based press freedom group Committee to... MORE