Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya made a global call to support independent media and journalists on the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus (February 9). February 9 will mark 1.5 years of peaceful protest against violence, lawlessness, and state terror in Belarus. "While the resistance of millions of Belarusians continues underground in various creative forms, independent media are at the forefront of the struggle. Courageous journalists, bloggers, and influential media figures keep up working in the country and exile, despite severe repression and personal insecurity."
As of today, the Belarusian authorities hold 31 journalists behind bars. BAJ got in touch with relatives, friends, and colleagues of most imprisoned journalists and collected the latest news from them.
Belarus is one of the most difficult countries in Europe for independent journalists to work in. Since the rigged presidential election in 2020, the journalists have been a target for the regime and at least 300 journalists have been forced into exile. Now they are struggling to cover the news in their homeland from a distance.
The chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists says reporting is harder than ever because of government crackdowns and war in neighbouring Ukraine.
The Slovakia-based media-monitoring organization MEMO 98 has launched monitoring of Russian Federation state TV channels First Channel, Russia 1, Russia 24, NTV, online sources Smotrim.ru, gazeta.ru, news agencies Ria Novosti, Interfax, RBC, newspapers Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Argumenty i Fakty and independent international media to evaluate how those news outlets are covering the war in Ukraine and anti-war/peace protests. What does state media propaganda tell Russians about these topics, and how does it compare to the portrayal by independent media outside the country?
In Belarus, Lukashenka’s regime continues persecuting independent media and silencing critical voices while at the same time attempting to renew the dialogue with the EU. On 20 April the editor-in-chief of Belarusian leading outlet was brutally detained by special forces. 26 journalists and media professionals remain behind bars.
Russia is shooting the truth about the invasion of Ukraine: losses among journalists in 20 days of war
In less than three weeks since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of our country, there are already Ukrainian and international journalists killed and injured in Ukraine.
“It’s Dasha’s birthday on the 20th, she will celebrate her twenty-fifth birthday. Such a beautiful date! Too bad it will be a day off. The day passed quickly at work and maybe it wasn’t so sad,” Dasha’s mother Natalya Tserabilenka told.
On Human Rights Day, December 10, 2021, the Seimas of Lithuania hosted the Lithuanian-Belarusian forum “Human Rights and Journalism” attended by representatives of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and international human rights organizations. The forum participants discussed the human rights situation in Belarus, ways to influence the situation and provide assistance to the media community.