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  • Belarusian journalists under crackdown need your support now! BAJ calls for international solidarity

    Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists appeals to col­leagues around the world

    Dear col­leagues!

    For the last six months, the author­i­ties have been car­ry­ing out a total crack­down on inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists and media in Belarus. Your sol­i­dar­i­ty is very impor­tant for us now.

    In 2020, we saw a storm of repres­sion against jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and the fol­low­ing protests. The author­i­ties detained jour­nal­ists 477 times, 62 jour­nal­ists expe­ri­enced vio­lence, and more than 50 media web­sites were blocked. In total, the jour­nal­ists spent more than 1,200 days in jail.

    The Belaru­sian author­i­ties began 2021 with even tougher pres­sure on the media. The author­i­ties start­ed active­ly using crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion against jour­nal­ists, media man­agers, and pub­lish­ers. Cur­rent­ly, 9 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the media and Press Club Belarus are in prison on crim­i­nal charges. They face heavy prison sen­tences on polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed charges.

    The next tri­al against jour­nal­ists will begin in Min­sk on Feb­ru­ary 9 — Bel­sat reporters Kat­siary­na Andreye­va and Daria Chultso­va, who were livestream­ing from a protest on Novem­ber 15, are now charged with coor­di­nat­ing the protests. They face up to 3 years in prison.

    Since ear­ly 2021, the author­i­ties have con­tin­ued to attack the edi­to­r­i­al offices of nation­al and region­al media. The police seized equip­ment from inde­pen­dent news agency Bela­PAN, and from the lead­er­ship of Binkl.by, Hrodna.life and NewGrodno.by.

    In the face of esca­lat­ing pres­sure on the press, BAJ asks all inter­na­tion­al part­ners, inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions and jour­nal­ists’ unions for sup­port.

     What can you do?

    - Make a state­ment in sup­port of inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists and media in Belarus. Pub­lish it on your web­site and in social net­works, send it to the Embassy of Belarus in your coun­try, and send a copy to BAJ.

    - Appeal to the gov­ern­ments of your coun­tries ask­ing them to raise the issue of repres­sions against Belaru­sian jour­nal­ists at the inter­na­tion­al lev­el as often as pos­si­ble.

    - Express sol­i­dar­i­ty with Belaru­sian col­leagues who are now suf­fer­ing repres­sion and are in prison, and demand their release.

    Jour­nal­ists and inde­pen­dent media in Belarus real­ly need your sol­i­dar­i­ty and sup­port now.

    If you have any ques­tions or ideas, please con­tact us at baj@baj.by

    Repres­sions against jour­nal­ists in Belarus, 2021 (chart)

    FIGURES OF THE YEAR. Repres­sion of media and jour­nal­ists in Belarus in 2020

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