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  • Lithuanian parliament awards Hope for Freedom Prize to Yahor Martsinovich

    This annual event took place on 7 December in the Lithuanian Parliament as part of the Free Journalism Forum. The award recognizes independent Belarusian journalists for their contribution to promoting freedom of expression.

    Yahor Martsi­novich, the for­mer chief edi­tor of Nasha Niva was repeat­ed­ly detained in 2020 but even­tu­al­ly released. How­ev­er, in July 2021, the author­i­ties car­ried out search­es at the offices and homes of inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists, lead­ing to Yahor Martsi­novich being detained once again, sub­ject­ed to vio­lence, and then sen­tenced to a term of 2.5 years in prison. Martsi­novich was even­tu­al­ly released in the sum­mer of 2023.

    “One year ago on this very day, I was wip­ing some por­ridge off a pan at Babruisk prison, with no thoughts about the world of democ­ra­cy and free­dom that I would soon see,” recount­ed the jour­nal­ist. “Many of my col­leagues are still in these – or worse – con­di­tions, remain­ing hostages for pur­su­ing free­dom of speech. It is ridicu­lous that their intel­lec­tu­al capac­i­ty is being exploit­ed for forced labor, and it is even more shock­ing that hun­dreds of oth­er jour­nal­ists were com­pelled to depart from their home­land and find a tem­po­rary res­i­dence to keep report­ing accu­rate infor­ma­tion to their audi­ence.”

    The jour­nal­ist expressed grat­i­tude to the coun­tries that have wel­comed Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent media work­ers. He believes in their inten­tion to prompt­ly return home should an oppor­tu­ni­ty arise.

    Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists receive the Lithuan­ian Hope for Free­dom Award for the fourth year in a row. Last year it was pre­sent­ed to Aleh Hruzdzilovich, in 2021, to Andrei Ali­ak­san­drau, while in 2020, it was giv­en to Kat­siary­na Bary­se­vich, Ale­na Tauka­cho­va, Tat­siana Kar­avenka­va, Kat­siary­na Andree­va, and Daria Chultso­va.

    Read more:

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

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

    Aliaksandr Mantsevich transferred to Baranavichy remand prison

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