Journalists must be allowed to enter Belarus

Belarusian border guards denied 17 foreign journalists entry to Belarus, on Wednesday, due to lack of accreditation. On Thursday, at Minsk Airport, journalists from Estonia, Poland, Serbia, Germany and Georgia were not allowed to enter Belarus. At the same time, Russian journalists and technicians were called to join Belarusian state television. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on the Belarusian authorities to let all journalists do their work on the ground. Today, disputed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko admitted that Russian journalists now work for State TV instead of those who quit in protest: ”I asked the Russians: give…

Wave of support in Europe for Belarusian journalists

    In recent days, the affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have massively demonstrated their support for journalists who are victims of violence in Belarus. Following our call, EFJ affiliates have written to their governments to demand sanctions against those responsible for violence and electoral fraud and a review of cooperation between the European Union and Belarus. Many journalists’ organisations offer logistical or financial assistance to Belarusian colleagues. The EFJ forwarded to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) the expressions of support from journalists’ unions and associations in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania,…

Belarus: journalists from Grodno demand justice

Journalists in the Belarusian city of Grodno, near the Polish border, filed a complaint against the outburst of police violence against them and peaceful demonstrators on 9-11 August. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Belarusian affiliate, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), call on the authorities to launch the necessary judicial investigations to punish the perpetrators of the unjustified violence. The journalists from Grodno claim to have dozens of testimonies of illegal detentions, use of physical force, destruction of civilian vehicles, illegal restriction of movement of people, violence against people during detentions and detention. The journalists’ statement lists…

Ukraine: Investigative journalists face arson attack and surveillance

A group of Ukrainian investigative journalists is being subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including surveillance and arson attacks. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), join their Ukrainian affiliate, the National Union of Journalists in Ukraine (NUJU), in urging the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the intimidation and attacks aimed at muzzling their investigations. The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) also joined the call backing the journalists. The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty team’s car was set on fire during the night of Monday 17 August. Police found an explosive substance on the wreck of…

EFJ and ETUC call for EU sanctions against Belarusian leaders

As announced by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, EU Heads of State or Government will discuss the situation in Belarus on Wednesday. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) again call on the EU Council to reintroduce commensurate sanctions for electoral fraud and violence against protesters and journalists in Belarus. The EFJ believes the EU must swiftly impose the sanctions it has threatened on individuals in the Lukashenko administration (including state media) and on Belarusian security forces complicit in the crackdown. Together with the ETUC and the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC),…

Threats to strike on Belarusian state television

Update (17/08): Belarus state television employees are on strike. 600 employees of BTRC put their signatures in support of the strike. The CEO of BTRC Ivan Eismant asked everyone who doesn’t agree with government to quit. ——————– Tens of thousands of Belarusians have gathered in Minsk today for the biggest protest in the country’s history, against police brutality and the presidential election results. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the call by state media journalists to finally be allowed to cover events in a fully independent way. They will go on strike this Monday if their demand is rejected.…

Joint statement on Belarus: EU must reintroduce sanctions related to violations of media freedom

Update (15/8): European Union Foreign Affairs ministers agreed Friday to draw up a list of targets in Belarus for a new round of sanctions in response to strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s post-election crackdown. The sanctions will target those responsible for the violence, arrests and fraud in connection with the election. Once the list is finalized, each individual or entity on it will have to be approved unanimously by the EU member states. ——————- We call on Belarusian authorities to stop attacking, detaining and demonising journalists and media workers and work towards meaningful protections for media freedom. Following the disputed Presidential elections in…

Belarus: State media journalists call for release of detained journalists

At least 16 journalists resigned from the state media in Belarus amid mass protests and detentions. They expressed their disapproval of the repression of journalists by the Belarusian security forces. Many others co-signed yesterday an appeal to the government demanding the release of all detained journalists and an end to the repression. In recent days, several journalists from Belarusian state media announced their resignation. Among them: ONT TV presenter and head of the presidential pool of journalists Dmitry Semchenko. Yesterday, at least 160 journalists from state-owned media co-signed an appeal to the Belarusian Minister of Information Igor Lutsky, asking the…

65 journalists arrested in Belarus since Sunday; EFJ calls on EU leaders to impose sanctions

Since Sunday’s elections, Belarusian law enforcement officials have arrested 65 journalists. Some have been released; some have been expelled; some have been sentenced to heavy fines. Dozens of other journalists have been harassed or abused. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on the foreign ministers of the European Union, who are meeting tomorrow, to take sanctions against those responsible for the repression of journalists in Belarus. The EFJ welcomes the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemning the violent response of the Belarusian authorities to the peaceful demonstrations held across the country in the…