• Actual
  • Law and the media
  • Helpful
  • Work areas and campaigns
  • Reviews and monitoring
  • Three journalists jailed on criminal charges. We demand their immediate release!

    BAJ Statement

    Recent­ly, the author­i­ties have detained and sent to pre-tri­al deten­tion cen­ters three Belaru­sian jour­nal­ists who were per­form­ing their pro­fes­sion­al duties.

    TUT.BY jour­nal­ist Kat­siary­na Bary­se­vich was detained on Novem­ber 19 with­in a crim­i­nal case on alleged reveal­ing of the med­ical secret of Raman Ban­daren­ka who was beat­en to death (in her arti­cle, she quot­ed his doc­tor who claimed Raman had no alco­hol in his blood, con­trary to the state­ments of the author­i­ties).

    Bel­sat TV jour­nal­ists Kat­siary­na Andreye­va (Bakhvala­va) and Daria Chultso­va became sus­pects of orga­niz­ing actions that gross­ly vio­late pub­lic order, after livestream­ing the vio­lent dis­per­sal of pro­tes­tors by secu­ri­ty forces on the «Square of Change» in Min­sk on Novem­ber 15.

    In addi­tion, 6 oth­er jour­nal­ists remain free but are tar­get­ed in the crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion: Art­siom Bahaslaus­ki, Dzmit­ry Buyanau, Dzmit­ry Dmit­ryeu, Dzmit­ry Krauchuk, Yahor Martsi­novich, and Siarhei Sat­suk.

    A total of 390 jour­nal­ists were per­se­cut­ed dur­ing the elec­tion and post-elec­tion peri­od, 77 of which served short jail sen­tences (admin­is­tra­tive arrests for up to 15 days). As of Novem­ber 23, 14 jour­nal­ists are behind bars on admin­is­tra­tive or crim­i­nal charges. Blog­gers detained dur­ing the elec­tion race remain in cus­tody, too.

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists draws atten­tion to the fact that free­dom of expres­sion and the right to dis­sem­i­nate infor­ma­tion are guar­an­teed by the Belaru­sian Con­sti­tu­tion and inter­na­tion­al legal oblig­a­tions of Belarus (in par­tic­u­lar, the Inter­na­tion­al Covenant on Civ­il and Polit­i­cal Rights, Arti­cle 19).

    Obstruct­ing the law­ful pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ty of a jour­nal­ist is pun­ish­able by crim­i­nal law (arti­cle 198 of the Crim­i­nal Code).  In addi­tion, the Belaru­sian Crim­i­nal Code pro­vides for lia­bil­i­ty for pros­e­cu­tion of cit­i­zens for crit­i­cism (Arti­cle 197) and oth­er crimes against the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights and free­doms (Chap­ter 23 of the Crim­i­nal Code).

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists demands:

    - to imme­di­ate­ly release jour­nal­ists Kat­siary­na Bary­se­vich, Kat­siary­na Andreye­va (Bakhvala­va) and Daria Chultso­va from cus­tody and stop their crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion;

    - to stop crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion and review court deci­sions on admin­is­tra­tive cas­es of jour­nal­ists and oth­er cit­i­zens con­vict­ed for express­ing their opin­ions and dis­sem­i­nat­ing infor­ma­tion about what is hap­pen­ing in the coun­try, which is guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic of Belarus;

    - to bring those respon­si­ble for vio­lat­ing the rights of jour­nal­ists and cit­i­zens to jus­tice.

    We call on Belaru­sian and inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ties to sup­port these demands.

    The most important news and materials in our Telegram channel — subscribe!
    Most read
    Every day send to your mailbox: actual offers (grants, vacancies, competitions, scholarships), announcements of events (lectures, performances, presentations, press conferences) and good content.


    * indicates required

    By subscribing to the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy