European Federation of Journalists

Belarus: EFJ demands the immediate release of Yulia Slutskaya

Picture credit: Yulia Slutskaya.

Yulia Slutskaya, the founder of the Belarus Press Club, who is also a member of the board of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), was detained on Tuesday on her arrival at Minsk International Airport. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) demands her immediate release.

In response to new EU sanctions against those responsible for the fraudulent elections and repression of the Belarusian people, the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makei, today announced retaliatory measures against Belarusian organisations supported by foreign embassies in Belarus. Among the first victims of this new wave of repression: Yulia Slutskaya, founder of the Press Club Belarus and member of the BAJ Board of Directors.

Security forces intervened on Tuesday at the homes of several Press Club staff members, including programme director Alla Sharko. The director of the Press Club, Syarhei Alsheuski, and the director of the press club academy, Syarhei Yakupau, are also wanted.

“This repression must stop immediately,” said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård. “We demand the release of Yulia and all her colleagues. We call on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to react vigorously to this new wave of repression”.

Since the fraudulent presidential elections, on 9 August, 385 journalists have been detained in Belarus, just for doing their job. Four of them are still in prison:

  • Ekaterina Andreeva
  • Daria Chultsova
  • Ekaterina Borisevich
  • Alexandra Pilipovich-Sushchits