Belarus: harrassment against freelance journalists on the rise

On 16 November 2017, the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), organised a one-day meeting in Minsk focusing on “The Perspectives and challenges for freelance journalism in Belarus and Europe”.  Around 40 journalists, including media lawyers, EFJ/IFJ affiliates and the EU Delegation to Belarus, discussed how to best put the desperate issue of freelance journalism at the heart of local and national authorities in Belarus and the European Union. Renate Schroeder from the EFJ, Michael Hirschler from the German Journalists’ Association (DJV), and other colleagues from the EFJ’s Freelance Expert Group (FREG)…

Ukrainian journalist arrested in Belarus on spy charges

Pavlo Sharoyko, a Ukrainian Radio correspondent (Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), was arrested in Minsk, Belarus, on 25 October 2017 by the Belarusian KGB. Sharoyko is only being allowed representation provided by Belarusian authorities, says Sergiy Tomilenko, head of Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists (NUJU). Sharoyko’s colleagues have said that the journalist was working on stories related to the search for Pavlo Hryb, a Ukrainian citizen who disappeared in Belarus after being arrested and was later found to have been sent to Russia. Sharoyko also investigated cases involving Russia’s Ukrainian political prisoners, and reported on military exercises taking place in…

Our letter to CoE Secretary General: Include Belarus to the Platform

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…

Mass detentions of journalists in Belarus

Update (28.03.2017): Aliaksandr Barazenka, Belsat cameraman, who was sentenced to 15 days in jail yesterday, announced a hunger strike. On March 25 he was detained by the police, while covering the protests in Minsk. Despite repeating several times during the detention that he is a journalist, he was charged with “minor hooliganism”. More journalists were prosecuted in Belarus today: Dzianis Ivashyn was sentenced to 5 days in jail, Kanstantsin Mardzvintsau to 15 days in jail, Syarjuk Kijko to 12 days in jail and Viktar Stukau was fined. In Belarus, since Friday March 24, 2017 the law enforcement agencies detained 55 (totally…

Three more journalists detained in Belarus

UPDATE (24.03.2017):  Hanna Dus’ and Viktar Kachan were detained yesterday in Babruysk, when they tried to report on a trial, the journalists were taken to the prosecutor’s office for a talk and later released. Sviatlana Tsishko, the editor of the website Kraj.by, was fined for approximately €200 for publishing a story about a protest on the grounds that the article can be interpreted as an invitation to the unsanctioned event. UPDATE (23.03.2017):  Two more journalists Liubou Luniova and Volha Davydava were detained yesterday in Minsk, while reporting from the police department on the detention of a political activist. They were released in…

Belarus: police interfere with journalists work during protests

UPDATE (14.03.2017): The Belarusian Association of Journalists protests detentions of 18 journalists and obstruction of their professional activities by law enforcement forces. The BAJ believes that the court ruling on March 13, where journalists Halina Abakunchyk and K. Bakhvalava were found administratively liable, is unlawful and illegitimate. On March 12, protests were planned in three Belarusian cities – Babruysk, Orsha and Rahachou due to the unemployment tax, which will force people to pay approximately $200 if they are unemployed for more than six months per year. Law enforcement agencies unfolded a large-scale operation to prevent journalists from covering the events. The…

Russian blogger extradited to Azerbaijan

UPDATE (07.03.2017): The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) alert submitted on the detention of Alexander Lapshin to Council of Europe platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. He is currently located at the Detention Center of the Baku Investigative Prison Nr 1. ——————- Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin, who also holds Ukrainian and Israeli citizenships, was extradited to Azerbaijan, after the Supreme Court in Belarus decided to send him to Baku despite the objections from Moscow. The blogger, who is famous for writing about traveling, was arrested in Minsk in December…

12 journalists died reporting in 2016 in Europe, says IFJ

At the end of each year, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) publishes a list of all the journalists and media professionals killed in the course of their work over the previous 12 months. As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle impunity and campaign for greater safety for journalists, the IFJ is publishing The story behind the killings – a in-depth analysis of each region with an explanation of the victims and circumstances of each death. The report lists details of 93 media professionals killed in work-related incidents such as targeted murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents last year, a…

EFJ and IFJ condemn murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in Ukraine

A prominent journalist specialising in relations between Russia and Ukraine, Pavel Sheremet, has been murdered today by a car bomb in Kiev. The International Federation of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists, have joined affiliates in Ukraine and Russia, in condemning the killing. Pavel Sheremet, who worked for the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper and radio Vesti died when the car he was driving exploded shortly after it started, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office. He was heading to the radio’s office to host his morning show. Some reports claim the car belonged to his employer, Alyona Pritula, the founder and chief editor of…

Belarus detains and fines journalist for filming police attacking protesters

Paul Dabravolski, a reporter working for the Belarusian news website TUT.BY was arrested and given a fine of 9.450.000 Belarusian rubles (420 EUR) for filming police beating two protesters during a court hearing on a graffiti case on 25 January. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have today condemned the arrest and urged the authority to withdraw all charges against Dabravolski. Dabravolski is a member of the BAJ. He was arrested while he was covering a hearing where two supporters were protesting in the court with a banner saying “stop political prosecution”. In a…

Belarus fines freelance journalist for working with “foreign media”

Belarus continues its bad practice by handing over the first fine of the year on 13 January to freelance journalist, Larysa Shchyrakova, for working with “foreign media”.Following the ruling, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have called for an immediate appeal of the ruling and urged the government to scrap the existing law. Shchyrakova, was fined 4 620 000 Belarusian rubles (around 225 EUR) by the Homiel District Court for breaking Article 22.9 of Belarusian Code on Administrative Offenses which forbids freelance journalists in the country from working with foreign media outlets. With…

Load more