As campaigning for the 2020 elections began, the Belarusian authorities launched a war on journalists and independent media. They were stripped of their press cards, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, arrested and detained for weeks, and charged with criminal offenses. Since then, journalists have been arrested on more than 500 occasions. The Belarusian Association of Journalists monitors all cases of harassment of journalists and media workers. Below, you will find information on those imprisoned on criminal charges.
On 27 November, the editor-in-chief of Rehijanalnaja Hazeta was moved from the remand prison in Zhodzina to one in Baranavichy. He will stay there before being transferred to a correctional facility to serve his sentence.
On November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is celebrated. The day was introduced by the United Nations and was important for Belarus long before the events of 2020, because crimes against journalists have been unpunished in our country since 1994. Dzmitry Zavadski. Veranika Charkasava ... Numerous assaults and beatings of journalists... And starting from 2020, the authorities literally terrorize the media community. That is why on this day the Belarusian Association of Journalists publishes the report "Belarus 2022-2023. Human Rights. Civil Society. Media", which provides an up-to-date overview of the crackdown on civil society and the media. Download PDF
The case against the freelance videographer Andrei Tolchyn has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review and submission to the court. The former journalist from Homel is charged with establishing or taking part in an extremist group, rather than for posing a risk to national security as previously assumed.
BAJ represents the media sector, so the new domain name is baj.media.
The 43-year-old author of the MozgON YouTube channel is being prosecuted for “persistent disobedience to the prison administration”, as per Viasna Human Rights center.
Supreme Court Judge Yury Rutkouski held a closed session to review the Vitsebsk Regional Court verdict. The convicted spouses received a new sentence under section 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code (participation in an extremist formation) after the crime was reclassified.
On November 16, several human rights and media organizations released a joint statement recognizing journalist Andrei Tolchyn as a political prisoner.
On November 14, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held an award ceremony in Brussels, where the Belarusian Association of Journalists was announced as this year’s prize winner.
Yauhen Merkis joined the workforce in prison. He can only correspond with his father and his right to monthly calls has been restricted, as per human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who shared this information about the journalist on his Facebook page.