• Actual
  • Law and the media
  • Helpful
  • Work areas and campaigns
  • Reviews and monitoring
  • “You make people think and scare politicians.” RFE/RL Belarus 70th anniversary celebration held in Lithuanian Seimas

    On May 22, a cer­e­mo­ny ded­i­cat­ed to the 70th anniver­sary of RFE/RL Belarus was held in the Lithuan­ian Seimas.

    70-годдзе Беларускай службы «Радыё Свабода» у Сейме Літвы

    Dur­ing the ses­sion ded­i­cat­ed to the 70th anniver­sary of RFE/RL Belarus in the Lithuan­ian Seimas. Pho­to: BAJ

    Speak­er of the Lithuan­ian Seimas Vik­tori­ja Čmi­lytė-Nielsen deliv­ered a wel­com­ing address.

    “The RFE/RL Belarus appeared ear­li­er than the Lithuan­ian office, which opened in 1957. Radio Lib­er­ty has become an impor­tant alter­na­tive to the state media. But its mis­sion has not been ful­filled yet: Belaru­sian his­to­ry is now writ­ten from Vil­nius. The open­ing of the RFE/RL Belarus office in Vil­nius a year ago tes­ti­fies to the very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion in Belarus.”

    The speak­er said that Lukashenka’s regime is destruc­tive for jour­nal­ists and civ­il soci­ety. After Rus­sia invad­ed Ukraine in Feb­ru­ary, Belarus and Rus­sia have become clos­er, which has made things worse for human rights in Belarus. The speak­er thinks it’s impor­tant to sup­port Ukraine, not just for the sake of Ukraine, but also for Belarus and oth­er coun­tries near­by.

    Vik­tori­ja Čmi­lytė-Nielsen said that Lithua­nia is ready to sup­port the inde­pen­dent Belaru­sian media. Vil­nius has become the cen­ter of Belaru­sian demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­si­tion.

    The speak­er of the Lithuan­ian par­lia­ment also men­tioned the impris­oned employ­ees of RFE/RL Belarus, Ihar Losik and Andrei Kuznechyk. Ihar Losik cel­e­brat­ed his third birth­day in prison yes­ter­day.

    The leader of the demo­c­ra­t­ic forces of Belarus, Svi­at­lana Tsikhanouskaya, sent a video address with con­grat­u­la­tions to the RFE/RL employ­ees.

    “You make peo­ple think and politi­cians afraid. With your help, Belaru­sians learn the truth, while the world learns about what’s hap­pen­ing in Belarus,” the politi­cian told the media work­ers.

    Svi­at­lana Tsikhanouskaya men­tioned the 2020 events, when “nei­ther bul­lets nor repres­sion pre­vent­ed you from doing your work. You didn’t give up and con­tin­ued your work in exile”.

    The demo­c­ra­t­ic leader also men­tioned the impris­oned media work­ers: “My thoughts are with Losik and Kuznechyk, they are true heroes. Our task is to fight for their release.”

    RFE/RL Belarus rep­re­sen­ta­tive Stephen Kapus recalled that the Belaru­sian author­i­ties rec­og­nized this media out­let as an “extrem­ist for­ma­tion”:

    “Despite being labeled as an unde­sir­able orga­ni­za­tion and agent, we con­tin­ued our mis­sion of bring­ing light to areas of dark­ness. While they may imprison our peo­ple, seal the office in Min­sk, or close our rep­re­sen­ta­tive offices, they can­not hide the truth from the peo­ple.»

    The most important news and materials in our Telegram channel — subscribe!
    Most read
    Every day send to your mailbox: actual offers (grants, vacancies, competitions, scholarships), announcements of events (lectures, performances, presentations, press conferences) and good content.


    * indicates required

    By subscribing to the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy