European Federation of Journalists

EFJ welcomes OSCE mission to Belarus

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the agreement reached on Thursday at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send an international expert mission to Belarus. As requested by the EFJ and Human Rights Watch on 26 August, finally 17 governments of OSCE participating states agreed on Thursday evening to activate the so-called “Moscow Mechanism”, which allows the OSCE to send an international expert mission to a state suspected of human rights violations. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United…

Belarusian journalist wounded at the knee: “I demand Justice”

On 10 August, the day after the fraudulent elections in Belarus, journalist Natalya Lubnevskaya was injured in the leg by a rubber bullet fired by security forces. She was covering demonstrations in Minsk for the newspaper “Nasha Niva”. She has just been released from hospital and is demanding justice. Natalya, 27 years old, graduated from the Institute of Journalism of the Belarusian State University five years ago. She covers news related to women and the status of women for the daily newspaper Nasha Niva. Today she gave an interview to the online media TUT.BY. “No one forced me to work…

Join us in supporting media freedom in Belarus: #BAJ25RAZAM

The EFJ affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), celebrates today its 25th anniversary in a particularly hostile context. The EFJ is proud of Belarusian colleagues in their struggle for media freedom and against repression and censorship. We call on all journalists’ organisations and all journalists to show solidarity with colleagues in Belarus. Use the hashtag #BAJ25RAZAM on social networks. Today BAJ celebrates the 25th anniversary of its foundation in a dramatic context. BAJ President Andrey Bastunets calls on journalists’ unions and associations in Europe to continue to inform colleagues and the public about the repeated violations of human…

Eleven journalists detained in Belarus this weekend

The wave of repression against journalists continues in Belarus. On the sidelines of the demonstrations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday against the disputed president Lukashenko, eleven journalists were abusively detained by the security forces. Nine of them are still in prison today. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) demands their immediate release. The EFJ affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), which continues to monitor any violation of press freedom in the country, issued today the list of detained journalists: Catarina Andreeva (Belsat), detained in Minsk on Saturday; Max Kalitovky, detained in Minsk on Saturday; Aliaxandr Vasyukovich, detained…

EFJ calls on Council of Europe to support Belarusian journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Tuesday called on the member states of the Council of Europe to put an end to the repression of journalists in Belarus. 159 journalists have been detained since the fraudulent elections of 9 August. The EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez, who was invited to speak on press freedom by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Tuesday in Strasbourg, called on the 47 member states of the Council of Europe to take concrete actions to end the repression of journalists in Belarus. He recalled that according to the monitoring of…

Belarus: journalists demonstrate; police make new arrests

For the first time since the fraudulent elections in Belarus, journalists demonstrated in front of the Interior Ministry in Minsk. They were protesting against the prolonged detention of six journalists. Police also arrested journalist Larysa Shchyrakova in Homiel and journalist Dzmitry Brushko in Minsk on Thursday. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) demand the immediate release of journalists in detention in Belarus. A group of about 80 journalists organised a demonstration on Thursday in front of the Ministry of Interior in Minsk. They were protesting against the continued detention of six journalists who…

More arrests of journalists in Belarus

Update (01/09/2020): Law enforcement officials detained eight more journalists while covering student demonstrations in Minsk on 1 September: Nadzija Kalinina (TUT.BY); Aliaksei Sudnikau (TUT.BY); Sviatoslav Zorki (KP); Mikita Nedaverkau (KP); Maryja Eliashevich (KP); Andrei Shauliyuga (Belapan); Maria Vaitovich (Euroradio); Raman Hadun (Market). —————————- The Belarussian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported on Sunday eleven new cases of detention of journalists in Belarus. This brings to 141 the number of journalists detained in the country since 9 August. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) demands the immediate release of journalists and the lifting of charges and prosecutions against them. According to the…

Wall of silence in Belarus: massive withdrawal of press accreditations

After the arbitrary detention of about 50 journalists on Thursday, the Belarusian authorities are stepping up the withdrawal of press accreditations for journalists covering the country’s news for foreign media. A wall of silence is gradually isolating Belarus from the rest of the world. The EFJ condemns the inaction and wait-and-see attitude of the international community. The Belarusian Interdepartmental Commission on Security in the Information Sphere has proceeded to a massive cancellation of press accreditations issued to journalists working for foreign media (AFP, AP, ARD, BBC, RFE/RL, Reuters, RFI…) in recent days. The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) has drawn…

Belarus: criminal complaint against obstruction of journalists’ work

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) on Friday demanded the opening of a criminal investigation against those who detained at least 47 journalists on Thursday 27 August to prevent them from covering the protests against disputed President Lukashenko in Belarus. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) fully supports the legal proceedings initiated by its affiliate BAJ. The legal action is launched on the basis of article 198 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (“Obstruction of the legitimate professional activities of a journalist”). BAJ asked the chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus to initiate…

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