EFJ president: It is worrying that the government is renewing this bad practice with a new wave of prosecution against freelance journalists”
Belarus continues its bad practice by handing over the first fine of the year on 13 January to freelance journalist, Larysa Shchyrakova, for working with “foreign media”. Following the ruling, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have called for an immediate appeal of the ruling and urged the government to scrap the existing law.
A journalist and a BAJ member Larysa Shchyrakova has been fined by Homiel District Court 22 base amounts (4 million 620 thousand Belarusian rubles – around EUR 225). She was found guilty of breaking article 22.9 of Belarusian Code on Administrative Offenses (‘Illegal Production and Violation of Mass Media Products’). De-facto, she was punished for cooperation with a foreign media outlet without accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. The case was considered by the judge Aliaksandr Lisouski on January 13, 2016.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists sent a request to the President’s Administration with the view to clarifying the reasons for the renewed persecution against some journalists under article 22.9.
Traders of the Brest market TSUM invited correspondents of the ONT TV channel to express their point of view on the situation concerning the market of goods, which in fact ceased its work after the New Year holidays.
Freelance Journalists Face another Wave of Prosecution in Belarus: Police Report Made against Larysa Shchyrakova (Homiel)
The Belarusian official authorities have started a new wave of pressure on independent journalists. The previous repressive trend was suspended, following the promises, given by the President of Belarus A. Lukashenka, to look into the problem in August 2015.
The state enterprise on supervision of electronic communications BelGIE launched the system of automatic search for anonymizers.
In a joint address to the authorities on December 9, Belarusian human rights defenders call on the government to close down politically motivated cases, among them the case of the observer Aliaksandr Alesin, and to stop persecution of journalists of Belsat TV and Radio Racyja.
Organization “Reporters Without Borders” in Austria honored two Belarusian journalists – Natallia Radzina, the chief editor of the charter97.org website, and Yahor Martsinovich, the deputy editor of the newspaper "Nasha Niva", – with the 2015 International Press Freedom Awards.
The Belarusian Human Rights Award, in nominations Personality, Human Rights Defender of the Year and Human Rights Journalist, was presented today in Minsk; two BAJ members became the awardees.