Police detain two journalists preparing to cover opposition rally
April 27, 2006 12:00 PM ET
New York, April 27, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns authorities in Belarus for preventing local and foreign journalists from covering an opposition rally in the capital Minsk on Wednesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Police in the eastern city of Bobruisk detained journalists Nikita Bytsenko and Yuri Svetlakov of the independent newspaper Bobruisky Kuryer Tuesday as they prepared to travel to the rally commemorating the disaster in neighboring Ukraine, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, a Minsk-based media watchdog, reported. Also on Tuesday, Border police denied entry to two crews from the Polish public television channel Telewizja Polska. See: http://www.cpj.org/news/2006/europe/belarus26apr06na.html
Officers stopped Bytsenko and Svetlakov in the street, checked their documents and, after receiving instructions over a mobile phone, detained the journalists without explanation, Olga Babak, editor of the BAJ news bulletin, told CPJ.
The journalists were held overnight and released Wednesday after the rally. They were charged with using obscene language and disobeying police orders. “It’s become standard procedure for authorities to sentence journalists to short-term jail sentences on similar charges,” Babak said. The journalists deny the charges. They are scheduled to appear in court May 3.
“We condemn this latest example of harassment which is designed to suppress coverage of the activities of the opposition,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “We call on the Belarusian authorities to drop all charges against our colleagues Nikita Bytsenko and Yuri Svetlakov immediately.”
Dozens of opposition and independent journalists were arrested, summarily tried, and handed jail terms of between five and 15 days on spurious charges of hooliganism and using obscene language in public around presidential elections on March 19. For more information, see http://www.cpj.org/news/2006/europe/belarus28mar06na.html. U.S. and EU officials called the March 19 vote, which secured President Aleksandr Lukashenko a third term, deeply flawed.
Belarus police raid independent media offices, detain journalists
August 8, 2018 4:25 PM ET
Kiev, August 8, 2018--Belarusian authorities should immediately release detained journalists and stop harassing independent media outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police raided the Minsk offices of at least three independent Belarusian news outlets and detained at least 17 journalists yesterday and today, accusing them of unlawfully...
In Belarus, critical blogger Sergey Petrukhin faces new charges
July 31, 2018 4:41 PM ET
New York, July 31, 2018--Belarusian authorities should end their harassment of independent blogger Sergey Petrukhin and allow him to work without fear of reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A court today charged Petrukhin with disobedience of an official order, according to the independent Belarusian Association of...
Kiev, July 6, 2018--Belarusian authorities should immediately release journalist Dzmitry Halko and drop all the charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Halko, also known as Dmitry Galko, is scheduled to be tried by a Minsk court on July 10 on charges of assaulting a police...
Belarus moves to prosecute 'fake news,' control the Internet
June 8, 2018 5:03 PM ET
Kiev, June 8, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Belarusian parliament to reject proposed laws that could further censor the media in the country. The Prosecutor General's Office is drafting a bill on "fake news," and the lower house of parliament separately is considering amendments to...
Journalists face trial for covering protests in Belarus
April 12, 2017 4:09 PM ET
New York, April 12, 2017--Belarusian authorities should immediately drop all charges against journalists for covering protests and should allow the news media to work unobstructed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....