In front of the building of the European Commission in Brussels, members of the International Federation of Journalists and its European regional organization organized an action in support of Belarusian imprisoned journalists. The action was held as part of the Marathon of Solidarity launched by BAJ on World Press Freedom Day.
In June, portraits of Belarusian journalists who stay behind bars appeared at the entrance to the Palace-Residence in Brussels, a building that houses the headquarters of the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, and many other media organizations and news agencies.
“Our building is located on Rue de la Loi, facing the European Commission. We believe it is the right place to call for the release of our colleagues,” said IFJ and EFJ representatives.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger stated: “Lukashenka’s regime is crushing free speech and stripping journalists and media workers of their freedom. We demand the immediate release of the 45 journalists currently imprisoned in Belarus and call on press freedom organizations and journalists’ associations not to turn a blind eye to the repression of the media sector and flagrant human rights violations in the country.”
The Belarusian Association of Journalists, the only independent representative organization of journalists and media workers in the country, was labeled as an ‘extremist group’ by the regime in March 2023. We stand in full solidarity with our brave colleagues, who are carrying out their activities in exile to counter the ongoing crackdown on press freedom and civil society. Journalism is not a crime!” he added.
The marathon of solidarity with the journalists of Belarusian political prisoners was launched on May 3 in Vilnius by a joint action of the BAJ and the Lithuanian Union of Journalists.
Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and other countries have already joined the call.
BAJ calls on colleagues all over the world to support the solidarity action!
You can print portraits of imprisoned colleagues, take pictures with them in recognizable places of your city and publish them on social media with the tags #СвабодуЖурналістам and #BecauseTheJournalist, and also send us to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.