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…

Belarus files 24 cases against freelance journalists in 2015

Working as freelance journalists can be considered as a crime in Belarus. Since the beginning of this year, the Belarusian authority has filed 24 cases (see infographic below) against freelance journalists imposing fines for their works. In all the cases, the journalists are accused of violating article 22.9 of the administrative code (unlawful production and distribution of mass media products). According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), an affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the total sum of the fines imposed on journalists so far this year amounted to 117 million Belarusian rubles (over 6.000 EUR). The EFJ…

Belarus imposes more fines on freelance journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is extremely concerned by the increasing numbers of fines imposed on Belarusian freelance journalists for “illegal creation of mass media production” since April 2014. On June 1, the judge of the Dziarzhynsk district court Ina Shayko ruled against journalists Volha Chaychyts and Siarhei Krauchuk and demanded them to pay 310 EUR each (5 million 400 thousand rubles) for illegal production of mass media products. On June 3, the Lenin district court of Brest also fined journalist Alina Litvinchuk for double violations of Article 22.9 (illegal production and distribution of mass media products); the fine…

Journalists Jailed in Turkey

World Press Freedom Day tomorrow: 32 journalists jailed in Europe

Ahead of World Press Freedom Day (#WPFD), tomorrow, the European Federation of Journalists strongly calls for release of imprisoned journalists in Europe. With their affiliates in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia and Belarus, the EFJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are following closely the cases of 33 imprisoned journalists in Europe. All of them are in prison just for having done their job. Together with the Helsinki Commission, the EFJ call on again the authorities of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia to release those journalists who remain imprisoned. We will not forget them… Turkey (follow the IFJ/EFJ campaign “Set journalists free in Turkey”)…

EFJ congratulates new leadership at Belarus Association of Journalists

The EFJ affiliate, the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) elected a new chairman at its  IX Congress on 24 April. The out-going chair woman, Zhanna Litvina, had been serving the BAJ for almost 20 years announced the candidate for the chairmanship Andrei Bastunets. Litvina, had headed the organisation since it was founded in 1995. Litvina called Bastunets “conscience of the organisation, a person you can always rely on”. Bastunets, 48, a former deputy head, was elected chairman of BAJ, an organisation with 1,300 members. Andrus Klikunou , who is a mmeber of the EFJ Freelance expert Group, was elected for…

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