Belarus / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Belarus since 1992

  

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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A rally in Minsk on March 15. Dozens of journalists are being obstructed or detained to prevent them covering protests in Belarus. (AP/Sergei Grits)

CPJ joins call for Belarus president to stop harassment of journalists, protesters

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 48 rights organizations, sent a letter on March 22 to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, condemning the detention and harassment of protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, and members of the country’s opposition party.

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Remembering Pavel Sheremet, IPFA honoree, friend to CPJ, and hard-nosed journalist

Pavel Sheremet, who died yesterday when a bomb blew up the car he was driving in Kiev, was a CPJ International Press Freedom awardee in 1998. At the awards ceremony in the glittery Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that November, Sheremet was a no show.

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The cover of the Belarus Press Photo Album. (AP)

Archaic court ruling in Belarus as photo book banned

Thursday’s court ruling in the western Grodno region of Belarus is not befitting a modern European country, where servants of justice–prosecutors and judges–are expected to ensure protection for press freedom and human rights. Instead, it is reminiscent of medieval Europe, where dissent was declared heresy and ordered destroyed.The Oshmyansky District Court ruled that the 2011 edition of…

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Travel leave for Belarusian reporter no change of heart

In an unexpected development reported in the press today, Belarusian authorities temporarily lifted a travel ban on Irina Khalip, prominent journalist and reporter for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The restriction, which includes a weekly check-in with district police and a requirement to spend every night in her Minsk apartment, was part of a…

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Irina Khalip speaks on her phone outside a Minsk courthouse in May 2011. (AFP/Viktor Drachev)

Lukashenko can unshackle Khalip, a ‘victim of the regime’

Is Irina Khalip, the prominent Belarusian journalist, free to travel? President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose government prosecuted her on bogus charges of creating mass disorder, says that she is. That Khalip has not, the president said, shows that she would prefer to be known as a “victim of the regime.” Of course, this all seems strange…

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CPJ

Twenty-three days to take action against impunity

Approximately 30 journalists are targeted and murdered every year, and on average, in only three of these crimes are the killers ever brought to justice. Other attacks on freedom of expression occur daily: bloggers are threatened, photographers beaten, writers kidnapped. And in those instances, justice is even more rare. Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists…

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Iran has invested in technology with the explicit intent of restricting Internet access. (Reuters/Caren Firouz)

Most censored nations each distort the Net in own way

One big reason for the Internet’s success is its role as a universal standard, interoperable across the world. The data packets that leave your computer in Botswana are the same as those which arrive in Barbados. The same is increasingly true of modern mobile networks. Standards are converging: You can use your phone, access an…

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Chinese official Jia Qinglin, fifth from left, hands over keys to the China-built African Union headquarters to AU Chairman and Equatorial Guinea President Theodoro Obiang. (AFP/Tony Karumba)

China not most censored, but may be most ambitious

China didn’t make the cut for our 10 most censored countries. While the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship apparatus is notorious, journalists and Internet users work hard to overcome the restrictions. Nations like Eritrea and North Korea lack that dynamism.

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CPJ
A journalist talks on his satellite phone outside the Rixos Hotel in Libya in August 2011. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

Safer mobile use is key issue for journalists

As the Internet and mobile communications become more integrated into reporters’ work, the digital threats to journalists’ work and safety have increased as well. While many press reports have documented Internet surveillance and censorship–and the efforts to combat them–mobile communications are the new frontline for journalist security.

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