European Federation of Journalists

Belarus: journalists spent 1,200 days behind bars in 2020

Picture credit: BAJ.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the European Federation of Journalists affiliate in Belarus, has just drawn the dramatic balance of repression in 2020. Journalists continue to pay a heavy price. In 2020 they spent 1,200 days behind bars. The EFJ once again calls on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to end press freedom violations and ongoing human rights abuses in Belarus.

According to BAJ monitoring, here are the figures of the repression of media and journalists in Belarus in 2020:

  • 9 media representatives in jail under criminal investigation;
  • 15 media representatives are under criminal charges;
  • 477 cases of detention of journalists;
  • 62 journalists experienced violence from security forces;
  • 97 journalists served administrative arrests;
  • 1,200 days spent behind bars by journalists;
  • 4 newspapers suspended;
  • 50 news websites whose access has been limited;
  • 21,800 euros of fines imposed to media outlets and journalists.

“The repression of press freedom in Belarus is reaching peaks that require a stronger response from intergovernmental organizations,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “We cannot abandon the Belarusian people. Those responsible for press repression must be punished more harshly and BAJ and human rights defenders in Belarus must be given more support.”

The EFJ demands the immediate release of the nine journalists still behind bars in Belarus:

  • Katsiaryna Barysevich
  • Katsiaryna Andreyeva
  • Daria Chultsova
  • Yulia Slutskaya
  • Alla Sharko
  • Siarhei Alsheuski
  • Siarhei Yakupau
  • Petr Slutski
  • Ksenia Lutskina