Belarus / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Belarus since 1992

  

Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich’s parents on their efforts to find and free their son

“It felt like a horror movie.” That is how Dmitry Pratasevich describes learning that his son, Raman Pratasevich, was arrested after Belarusian authorities diverted Raman’s commercial flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk on May 23. Raman was the co-founder of NEXTA and the chief editor of Belarus of the Brain, two Telegram channels that rankled authorities…

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Why authoritarian governments force journalists like Belarus’s Raman Pratasevich into public confessions

Forced confessions—sometimes tied to public humiliation—have a long and inglorious history, and were a fundamental component of ancient judicial systems in the East and West. Obtaining a confession, by any means, for centuries was often a key part of achieving a conviction and meting out punishment. At the Salem witch trials, the accused could escape…

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In Belarus, Pratasevich’s arrest highlights risks facing journalists covering protests

The May 23 arrest of Belarusian journalist and blogger Raman Pratasevich off a diverted commercial passenger flight was a shattering blow to press freedom in Belarus. Pratasevich is the co-founder of NEXTA and chief editor of Belarus of the Brain, two Telegram channels that covered protests against President Aleksandr Lukashenko, a dangerous beat in the country where demonstrations are…

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CPJ testifies on threats to press freedom in Belarus at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Yesterday, at a hearing on Democracy and Human Rights in Belarus before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said gave testimony on the threats to press freedom and safety of journalists in Belarus.  Said spoke on the sharp increase in press freedom violations and journalists’ detentions since the…

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CPJ joins calls for accountability, ending of crackdown in Belarus

New York, December 10, 2020 – Today, on International Human Rights Day, the Committee to Protect Journalists and eight other civil society groups issued a joint statement expressing deep concern about the violation of human rights and press freedom in Belarus in the wake of the August 9 presidential election, and calling Belarusian authorities to…

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In a street scene, a police officer reaches towards a woman carrying a camera

CPJ joins call for California attorney general to investigate technology used in Belarus censorship

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined free expression and digital rights groups on September 23 in calling on Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, to investigate technology sales by Sandvine Inc. after the company acknowledged that its products were being used to block news and other websites amid anti-government protests in Belarus. The call, co-signed by…

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Four press freedom trends to watch amid Belarus’s antigovernment protests

The images coming out of Belarus look like scenes from a blockbuster film: A president clinging to power striding out of a helicopter holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle, while his gun-toting teenage son and heir apparent walks alongside him in a helmet and military vest; the protesters calling for the president’s removal singing songs, playing music, and taking off their…

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Belarusian photographer Tatsiana Tkachova quit her state-owned newspaper when it failed to cover violence against protesters

As anti-government protests continue to engulf Belarus after the August 9, 2020 election, there’s a revolt brewing inside some state media outlets, where journalists are striking and quitting over what they see as their employers’ failure to accurately cover the protest movement and the government’s harsh response. Thousands of people have been detained at the demonstrations including…

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Hospitalized Belarusian journalist Alena Scharbinskaya tells of beatings inside Minsk detention center

Alena Scharbinskaya, a correspondent with the independent satellite broadcaster Belsat TV, was among dozens of journalists detained last week in Belarus when protests erupted after the re-election of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose victory has been contested by many voters and the opposition. She was kept for three days in the now-infamous detention center known among locals…

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Independent media advocate and journalist tell of challenges covering Belarus’s upcoming elections and coronavirus

As Belarus’s August 9, 2020, presidential election nears with President Aleksandr Lukashenko vying to remain in power after 26 years in office, press freedom advocates say Belarusian authorities are cracking down on journalists and government critics.  Over three days starting June 25, Belarusian authorities arrested several popular bloggers: Ihor Losik, Serhei Petrukhin, Aleksandr Kabanau, Volodimir…

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