European Federation of Journalists

Ahead of European games in Minsk, EFJ urges Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom

Ahead of the European Games to take place in Minsk from 21 to 30 June 2019, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) reiterates its call on Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom and journalists’ right to work in complete freedom. The EFJ further calls on the European Olympic Committee to advocate for press freedom in Belarus, its host for the European games. At the moment, the situation is particularly worrying for freelance journalists working in Belarus for foreign media outlets, who are denied accreditation and therefore imposed unjustified bans to carry out their journalistic activities. Since April 2014, freelance journalists…

Press Conference: Freelance Journalism in Belarus | 18 September

The latest developments in Belarus raise strong concerns on media freedom and journalists’ working conditions. New updates to the National Media Law now prohibits journalists from contributing to any foreign media, as one of many restrictions introduced in June 2018. Cases such as “BelTA” case, increasing arrests, surveillance, libels and fines against editors and journalists are becoming a part of everyday working conditions in Belarus. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) invite you to a press conference to discuss the increasing threats against freelance journalists and state of media freedom in Belarus with journalists, experiencing the situation first hand. Speakers: Larysa Shchyrakova, a…

Belarus: The IFJ/EFJ condemn Police raid on independent media agencies

UPDATE 27.08.2018 TUT.BY news editors Halina Ulasik and Hanna Kaltyhina, journalist Hanna Yermachonak, BelaPAN editor-in-chief Iryna Leushyna, journalist Tatsyana Karavenkava, and Deutche Welle correspondent Paulyuk Bykowski, also editor of FINANCE.TUT.BY Dzmitry Bobryk have been summoned again by the investigators of “BeltTA” case on 27 August. All named editors and journalists have been issued a temporary restriction of leaving Belarus, EFJ’s affiliate the Belarusian Union of Journalists (BAJ) reported. UPDATE 10.08.2018 The Investigative Committee announced releasing all journalists related to the so called “BelTA” case from detention or questioning on August 10th, EFJ’s affiliate the Belarusian Union of Journalists (BAJ) reported. Investigative Committee announced that Maryna Zolatava,…

Belarus: Journalist Natallia Radzina receives death threats

Death threatening emails were sent to editor and journalist Natallia Radzina, currently based in Poland, on 22nd July, raising concerns on safety and protection of the journalist. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) expressed a deep concern over the threats to the well-known journalist and requested the Polish authorities to take necessary actions to ensure the safety of journalists. Natallia Radzina has been receiving threats previously, but the intimidating style and arrogance of the letters pushed her to bring the contents to the general public, she said, and added that the letters will not stop her from working. The journalist…

Belarus: Freelance journalist Dzmitry Halko sentenced to four years in low-security prison colony

UPDATE 10.10.2018 Dzmitry Halko, the freelance journalist on trial after allegedly assaulting a police officer in November 2017, was sentenced to four years in a low-security prison colony and will have to pay a compensation of 850 Belarusian rubles to the victims, reports the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ). In July Halko appealed the decision and was released from pre-trial detention. However, yesterday the Minsk City Court ruled to send the journalist to a labor camp, upholding the 4-year prison sentence imposed on him this summer. The EFJ supports BAJ in strongly condemning the decision of Belarusian legislative authorities against the journalist Dzmitry Halko. ——————————————– Freelance journalist Dzmitry Halko…

Belarus: more media censorship and control with new amendments of the Media Law

The crackdown on Belarusian journalists has been intensifying, with 50 fines already issued during 2018, mostly for cooperation with foreign media, and in numerous cases, the amounts were exceeding the average salary of the country, highlighted Andrei Bastunent, the chairperson of Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) during a press conference in Brussels back in June 2018. The representatives of BAJ visited Brussels on 19th of June, 2018, as a part of IFJ and EBU cooperation “Media for Democratic Belarus”, to meet the European Institutions and OSCE for discussing the new amendments of the Media Law, as well as the situation of the freedom of press…

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…

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