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  • BAJ demands to unblock websites, stop pressure on media, and ensure release of publications

    BAJ demands to unblock websites, stop pressure on media, and ensure release of publications

    On Fri­day evening it was report­ed that the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion had restrict­ed access of Belaru­sian users to web­sites of a large num­ber of media and polit­i­cal move­ments. Most well-known of them are Radio Svabo­da, Bel­sat TV, Euro­ra­dio, Sol­i­dar­i­ty news­pa­per, Udf.by, The Vil­lage, By.tribuna.com, Viteb­sk Couri­er, Peo­ple’s News of Viteb­sk, Masheka.by, and the web­site of the Human rights cen­ter Vias­na.

    Also, since August 9, Belaru­sian users have had no access to the web­site of BAJ, an asso­ci­a­tion of jour­nal­ists, mem­ber of the Inter­na­tion­al and Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tions of Jour­nal­ists.

    On Fri­day, under the pre­text of the print­ing press fail­ure, the state-owned Belaru­sian Print­ing House dis­rupt­ed the release of Nar­o­d­naya Volya and Kom­so­mol­skaya Prav­da v Belarusi news­pa­pers. For Kom­so­mol­skaya Prav­da, this is the third time since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. 

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists:
    — links the block­ing of Inter­net resources and the dis­rup­tion of print pub­li­ca­tions with the gov­ern­ments’ attempt to block infor­ma­tion about post-elec­tion protests in the coun­try and severe vio­lence against their par­tic­i­pants;

    - con­sid­ers such actions as indi­rect cen­sor­ship and obstruc­tion of the legit­i­mate activ­i­ties of media in Belarus;

    - states that these actions not only vio­late the rights of jour­nal­ists and the media, but also restrict the con­sti­tu­tion­al right of cit­i­zens to receive com­plete, reli­able and time­ly infor­ma­tion;

    - demands that the coun­try’s author­i­ties imme­di­ate­ly stop pres­sure on the press, ensure unin­ter­rupt­ed pub­li­ca­tion of print­ed pub­li­ca­tions, and unblock access to the blocked web­sites; and

    - calls on Belaru­sian and inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions to sup­port this state­ment. 

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists
    August 22, 2020

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