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  • An isosceles triangle. A free journalism forum taking place in Vilnius

    Today, on December 7, the Lithuanian Seimas traditionally hosts a free journalism forum. Our colleagues from the Baltic states and representatives of the Belarusian independent media gathered in Vilnius. As the chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists stressed, it is especially important now to remind about the isosceles triangle of Belarus — Belarusian independent journalism — Belarusian journalists behind bars and political prisoners in general.

    The forum is ded­i­cat­ed to sup­port­ing pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards in the con­text of wars and inter­na­tion­al con­flicts. This is a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant aspect for jour­nal­ism in its fight against pro­pa­gan­da and the spread of hate speech.

    «For the third year in a row, we hold a forum of jour­nal­ists from Belarus and Lithua­nia (and now Latvia and Esto­nia) here, in the premis­es of the Lithuan­ian Seimas,» said the chair­man of the Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists Andrei Bas­tunets. «On the one hand, this indi­cates the sup­port that Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists receive in exile, and the sol­i­dar­i­ty of our col­leagues. On the oth­er hand, the repres­sion against jour­nal­ists and civ­il soci­ety in our coun­try has not only not weak­ened, but even inten­si­fied and reached a kind of plateau. In a sit­u­a­tion of inter­na­tion­al dis­as­ters and wars, it is very impor­tant for us that Belarus, Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism, and espe­cial­ly our col­leagues behind bars in Belaru­sian pris­ons do not fall out of the focus of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty.»

    As the head of the jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion stressed that now, when for objec­tive and under­stand­able rea­sons Belarus is not in the head­lines, it is very impor­tant for him per­son­al­ly at every inter­na­tion­al meet­ing, forum, con­fer­ence to remind­ed of the isosce­les tri­an­gle of Belarus — Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism — Belaru­sian jour­nal­ists behind bars and polit­i­cal pris­on­ers in gen­er­al.

    «A real jour­nal­ist will nev­er become a pro­pa­gan­dist, a pawn in this war,» said the Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists Ricar­do Gutiér­rez. «Infor­ma­tion does not belong to the pow­er­ful. We need it so that we can pass it on to peo­ple.»

    He drew atten­tion to the fact that the world had not seen such mass killings of jour­nal­ists as in the Gaza Strip and Israel, and sug­gest­ed remem­ber­ing the reporters who died while per­form­ing their pro­fes­sion­al duties.

    The agen­da includes such top­i­cal issues as keep­ing the long-term atten­tion of the audi­ence to impor­tant top­ics; cre­at­ing con­di­tions for high-qual­i­ty jour­nal­ism under eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, or even mil­i­tary pres­sure; pro­tect­ing free and inde­pen­dent media.

    The dis­cus­sion is attend­ed by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Lithuan­ian, Lat­vian, and Eston­ian media, as well as the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent media who have been work­ing in exile for sev­er­al years.

    Read more:

    KGB labels several Mahiliou media and sports news website as “extremist formations”

    Aliaksandr Mantsevich transferred to Baranavichy remand prison

    Former videographer Andrei Tolchyn charged with extremism

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