Belarus / Europe & Central Asia

  

RFE/RL office raided, journalists detained as Belarus crackdown continues

Stockholm, July 16, 2021 – In response to Belarusian authorities’ raids today of the U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, searches of numerous journalists’ homes, and the detention of several members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement: “With today’s raid on the offices of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty…

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Belarus police continue newsroom raids, target journalists’ association

Stockholm, July 15, 2021 – Belarusian authorities must cease their raids on independent news outlets and press freedom groups, and refrain from charging or imprisoning journalists over their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Early yesterday morning, Belarusian law enforcement officers raided the Minsk headquarters of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), a…

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Belarusian authorities raid news outlets, detain journalists amid nationwide crackdown

New York, July 8, 2021 – Belarusian authorities must release all journalists held in custody for their work and drop all investigations into independent news outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Starting this morning, authorities raided at least three news outlets and arrested at least seven journalists nationwide amid a crackdown on the…

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Imprisoned Belarusian journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau charged with treason

New York, July 7, 2021 – Belarusian authorities should immediately release journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau, drop all charges against him, and ensure that journalists can work freely and without fear, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 30, authorities charged Aliaksandrau, founder and chief editor of the news website Belaruski Zhurnal, with treason, according…

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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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CPJ to brief media on press freedom in Belarus

New York, June 7, 2021–The crackdown on press freedom in Belarus has dominated headlines in recent weeks following the shocking detention of Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich. But stepped-up repression and censorship of local media intended to eliminate critical and independent reporting—including arrests, legal restrictions, and internet disruptions—has been ongoing for nearly a year.  Ahead of…

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Belarus sentences reporter Hlafira Zhuk to jail, authorities continue to harass journalists

Vilnius, Lithuania, June 2, 2021 — Belarusian authorities should release journalist Hlafira Zhuk immediately and cease harassing members of the press over their news coverage, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  On May 31, the Maskouski District Court in Minsk, the capital, sentenced Zhuk, a correspondent for the independent news website Narodnaya Volya, to 30…

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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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Belarusian authorities briefly detain 4 Tut.by journalists; at least 13 staff remain in custody

New York, May 25, 2021 – Belarusian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all employees of the independent news website Tut.by who remain in custody, and cease harassing the outlet’s employees, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Today, police in Minsk, the capital, arrested Tut.by reporters Anastasiya Prudnikava and Dzianis Burkouski, and social media…

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