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  • Investigative Committee cooperates with pro-governmental Belarusian Union of Journalists

    The Investigative Committee of Belarus works in collaboration with the National Committee to Protect Journalists of the Belarusian Union of Journalists, as well as the "Authorized Representative for the Protection of Journalists" of BUJ Alexander Shpakouski.

    This is stat­ed in the response of the Cen­tral Office of the Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee to The Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists (CPJ).

    «This col­lab­o­ra­tion is car­ried out in full com­pli­ance with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the OSCE Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Free­dom of the Media and is based on the nation­al tra­di­tions of pro­tec­tion of the rights of jour­nal­ists», — states the let­ter signed by inves­ti­ga­tor for par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant cas­es Ilyushche­nia.

    Besides the inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists, there is a pro-gov­ern­men­tal Belaru­sian Union of Jour­nal­ists in the coun­try, where min­is­ter of infor­ma­tion Ihar Lut­s­ki is a Board mem­ber.

    In recent months, BUJ did not only do noth­ing to stop mass repres­sions against jour­nal­ists and media, but also laid the blame for «orga­niz­ing and incit­ing mass dis­or­ders» also on the media.

    «Unfor­tu­nate­ly, much of the blame for orga­niz­ing and pro­vok­ing unrest lies with the media (local and for­eign), who delib­er­ate­ly ignore the prin­ci­ples and stan­dards of the pro­fes­sion, pro­fes­sion­al ethics and respon­si­bil­i­ty for the future of sov­er­eign Belarus.

    It is deeply regret­table that a num­ber of the so-called «new media» are open­ly direct­ing the riots, act­ing at least as their agi­ta­tors, and at most as their insti­ga­tors and per­pe­tra­tors», — said BUJ in its state­ment.

    It is unclear why the Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee is work­ing with BUJ on the case of Belarus Press Club rep­re­sen­ta­tives arrest­ed on Decem­ber 22, while none of those in jail are BUJ mem­bers. How­ev­er, among those arrest­ed there are mem­bers of the Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists, but the Inves­ti­ga­tion Com­mit­tee sees no point in coop­er­at­ing with BAJ.

    On Jan­u­ary 14, BAJ and oth­er human rights orga­ni­za­tions of Belarus made a joint state­ment rec­og­niz­ing the arrest­ed Press Club rep­re­sen­ta­tives polit­i­cal pris­on­ers and demand­ing their imme­di­ate release.


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