Belarusian media workers behind bars. Portraits

As campaigning for the 2020 elections began, the Belarusian authorities launched a war on journalists and independent media. They were stripped of their press cards, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, arrested and detained for weeks, and charged with criminal offenses. Since then, journalists have been arrested on more than 500 occasions. The Belarusian Association of Journalists monitors all cases of harassment of journalists and media workers. Below, you will find information on those imprisoned on criminal charges. 


Ranak newspaper editor and her colleague detained in criminal case

Andrei Lipski, a former employee of the Ranak media company based in Svetlahorsk, reported on his Facebook page a recent uptick in questioning and detainment of his former colleagues.


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.


Mahiliou journalist Barys Vyrvich searched and questioned but eventually released

This is reported by the Viasna Human Rights Center. Vyrvich formerly served as the editor-in-chief for the news outlet.


Police search journalist Dzmitry Lupach’s home in Hlybokaje

Lupach is a freelance journalist who fled Belarus two and a half years ago due to administrative harassment for working with independent media. In July 2021, just before his departure, he was detained for three days as part of a criminal case for allegedly inciting ethnic hatred.


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.


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

The Interior Ministry of Belarus website listed the following media among the extremist formations: the 6TV Belarus YouTube channel, information website Mahiliou Media, news publication Belarus, and their social media and messaging accounts.


Aliaksandr Mantsevich transferred to Baranavichy remand prison

On 27 November, the editor-in-chief of Rehijanalnaja Hazeta was moved from the remand prison in Zhodzina to one in Baranavichy. He will stay there before being transferred to a correctional facility to serve his sentence.


Former videographer Andrei Tolchyn charged with extremism

The case against the freelance videographer Andrei Tolchyn has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review and submission to the court. The former journalist from Homel is charged with establishing or taking part in an extremist group, rather than for posing a risk to national security as previously assumed.

27.11.2023 BAJ moves to new e-mail and website, fearing theft of old domain name by authorities

BAJ represents the media sector, so the new domain name is


Vlogger Uladzimir Tsyhanovich who serves 16-year jail term to stand another trial

The 43-year-old author of the MozgON YouTube channel is being prosecuted for “persistent disobedience to the prison administration”, as per Viasna Human Rights center.


Supreme Court releases Tatsiana Pytsko from jail and commutes Viachaslau Lazarau’s sentence

Supreme Court Judge Yury Rutkouski held a closed session to review the Vitsebsk Regional Court verdict. The convicted spouses received a new sentence under section 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code (participation in an extremist formation) after the crime was reclassified.