Protesters are blocked by police in Minsk, Belarus, on August 27, 2020. Belarus authorities stripped at least 17 journalists working for foreign outlets of their accreditation on August 29, 2020. (AP/Sergei Grits)

Belarus strips journalists working for foreign outlets of accreditation

New York, August 29, 2020—Authorities in Belarus today withdrew accreditation from at least 17 journalists who had been covering post-election protests for foreign media outlets, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists and news reports. The journalists included local and Russian journalists working for outlets such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Reuters, The Associated Press, Radio Liberty, Agence France-Presse, and Deutsche Welle, according to those reports.

“By stripping foreign correspondents of accreditation, Belarusian authorities are showing their fear and desperation over their failure to control independent reporting on the protests,” said Gulnoza Said, Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Belarusian authorities should reinstate accreditation of foreign media reporters and allow them and other journalists to freely and safely cover this important moment in Belarus’ history without repercussions.”  

Al-Jazeera reported that some of the foreign journalists were deported to Russia today.

According to AFP, government spokesman Anatoly Glaz said the decision to revoke the media accreditations was made after a recommendation by Belarus’s counter-terrorism unit.