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August 19, 2010

Belarus - Harassment of media grows in run-up to presidential election

Harassment of the Belarusian press has been on the upswing in the run-up to the presidential election that has been scheduled for next spring. What with the information ministry's repeated warnings, police raids, tax inspections and the country's new media law, press freedom is now severely compromised in Belarus. After receiving a series of information ministry warnings, two leading opposition newspapers, Narodnaya Volya and Nasha Niva , could now be shut down under article 51 of the media law... MORE
March 23, 2010

Ruling obstructs Belarusian Association of Journalists

The Belarusian Supreme Court has upheld a government order that will obstruct the work of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the country’s most prominent press freedom and media support organisation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The court backed a directive issued in January by the Ministry of Justice that orders the association, known as BAJ, to halt legal assistance work on behalf of local journalists. It also ordered BAJ to revise language on its... MORE
February 19, 2010

Belarus: Leading journalist harassed over coverage of trial of top officials

Investigative journalist Maryna Koktysh, the deputy editor of the Minsk-based independent newspaper Narodnaya Volya , is being continually harassed over her coverage of a case involving senior police officers and interior ministry officials in the southeastern Belarus city of Homyel, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. “The independent press has just done its duty by reporting developments in a scandal implicating senior officials that elicited comments from President Alexander... MORE
February 5, 2010

Belarus: Authorities step up pressure on independent journalists

The Belarusian police are increasingly harassing and intimidating independent journalists by charging them with relatively minor offences, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. In the latest case, Ivan Shulha, a journalist who works for the privately-owned satellite television station Belsat TV and who is an active member of the independent Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), was sentenced to 10 days in prison by a Minsk court thursday on a charge of “minor hooliganism” in... MORE
December 10, 2009

Belarus journalist threatened, warned not to publish

Death threats have been made against Iryna Khalip, Belarus correspondent for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta , the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. In a memo to Novaya Gazeta , Khalip said she received threatening email, phone calls, and a telegram from anonymous senders who warned her not to publish the investigative report she wrote and submitted to the paper on November 22. Anonymous emails said: “Unless you remove your article you will... MORE
September 29, 2009

Foreign news media still being arbitrarily denied accreditation in Belarus

Four days after a joint international press freedom mission to Belarus, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) on Tuesday called on the Belarusian government to stop obstructing the work of journalists working for foreign news media. The press freedom organisation has signed a statement issued by the mission at the end of its five-day visit noting that: “Accreditation of journalists working for Belarus or foreign media, as well as the registration of offices of media, are restricted by non-transparent... MORE
July 17, 2009

Belarus news website threatened over article about pro-Russian neo-fascist group

There have been continuing threats against journalists working for the Charter 97 news and opposition website ( in Belarus, according to Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). In the latest case, site editor Natallya Radzina received a threatening email message on July 15 that was prompted by a report about a pro-Russian neo-fascist group. The email that Radzina received on July 15 said, “Achtung [in German], editor Radzina Natallya! (...) You’ve been warned that you should... MORE
March 6, 2009

Polish journalist harassed in Belarus, denied press accreditation

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Belarusian authorities to renew work credentials for Andrzej Poczobut, a local correspondent for Poland's largest daily, Gazeta Wyborcza , and to investigate recent harassment of him and his family in the western city of Hrodno. Poczobut's credentials were pulled off after he reported on the policies of President Aleksandr Lukashenko and the activities of the Belarusian security service. Poczobut had applied for a continuation of his... MORE
February 28, 2009

Judge orders two issues of Belarussian cultural magazine seized and destroyed

Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned the s decision by judge Tatsiana Miranyuk of a district court in the western city of Brest to order the immediate seizure and destruction of the seventh and eighth issues of the opposition cultural magazine Arche on the grounds that their content was “extremist”. “We are again confronted by an absurd logic,” RSF said. “The administrative and judicial harassment of Arche since its creation in 1997 is a sad reminder of what went on under Soviet... MORE
February 20, 2009

Divisive new media law in Belarus increases barriers for independent media outlets

The new media law in Belarus contains several provisions that further deteriorate the media situation in the country. In particular, the law provides for regulation of online media by a governmental decree and re-registration of all the media outlets; it simplifies the procedure of closing down a media outlet and­ decreases the level of security of journalists and editorial boards, according to the Belarussian Association of Journalists (BAJ). Courts now can cl­ose down media after two warnings... MORE