Partners of the Council of Europe Platform for the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists are deeply concerned by the aggravating current situation in Belarus regarding mass detention of journalists. They urge Council of Europe to include Belarus to the list of the countries addressed by the Platform. Since the beginning of March 93 journalists were detained by the police, while covering protests across the country. While the majority was released the same day, at least 8 journalists were sentenced to 5-15 days in jail.
The Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Article 19 (A19), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Index On Censorship, the International News Safety Institute (INSI), the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) wrote a joint letter to CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland on the importance of extending the platform to Belarus.
“We believe that it is essential to raise awareness and bring attention to the significant deterioration of media freedom in Belarus and the constant intimidation of journalists. Extending the platform to Belarus might be the best way to monitor and raise awareness of the escalation of the situation and daily detention of journalists.”
On January 24, 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted recommendations, including the proposal to include Belarus in the list of the countries addressed by Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.
You can find the letter here.
Today (04.04.2017) the freelance journalists within the Swedish Union of Journalists (SJF) expressed their support of Belarusian journalists and urged the Belarusian authorities to stop arbitrary arrests of and threats against journalists. Previously, other EFJ affiliates the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) expressed their grave concerns over the situation in Belarus.