Aleksandr Lukashenko

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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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Marina Zolatava, editor-in-chief of the Belarusian independent news site Tut.by, sits in a Minsk court room prior to her preliminary hearing on two charges on February 12. (AP/Sergei Grits)

Tut editor in Belarus court on charge of illegally accessing state media website

Kiev, February 12, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Belarusian authorities to end their harassment of Maryna Zolatava, editor-in-chief of the country’s largest independent news website, Tut.by. Zolatava appeared in court in Minsk today on charges of illegally accessing part of a state-owned news outlet’s website and “official inaction,” a charge comparable to negligence,…

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Belarus adopts restrictive media law amendments, blocks websites

New York, December 23, 2014–The Belarusian parliament adopted amendments to a restrictive media law last week, and President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed them on December 20, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the broad and vaguely worded provisions of the law, which extend restrictions on the traditional press to the…

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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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Andrzej Poczobut, a correspondent for Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza, was convicted of insulting Aleksandr Lukashenko in 2011 and given a suspended sentence. (AP/Sergei Grits)

In Belarus, journalist charged with libeling Lukashenko

New York, July 2, 2012–Andrzej Poczobut, the prominent Grodno-based correspondent for the largest Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, was formally indicted Saturday on criminal charges of libeling President Aleksandr Lukashenko through a series of articles critical of administration policies.

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Andrzej Poczobut, seen here outside a courthouse in 2011, has been arrested and charged with libel. (AFP/Kseniya Avimova)

In Belarus, journalist arrested, charged with libel

New York, June 21, 2012–Authorities in Belarus must drop the charges against a prominent journalist arrested today for libel against the president, and immediately release him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Andrzej Poczobut has been targeted in the past for his critical writing, CPJ research shows.

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Belarus must lift travel ban against journalists

New York, March 15, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the illegal foreign travel ban on at least four independent journalists in Belarus, and calls on the government of Aleksandr Lukashenko to immediately restore their freedom of movement.

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