The Belarusian journalists Katsyaryna Bahvalava and Darya Chultsova will be awarded the Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media 2021
Leipzig, 29 July, 2021. The Belarusian TV journalists Katsyaryna Bahvalava and Darya Chultsova will be awarded this year’s Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media of Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig. The prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros for each laureate. It is awarded to media professionals who outstandingly promote media freedom and independent reporting and often risk their own well-being for their ambitions.
“With increasing concern, we have been watching how much the Belarusian regime is restricting the freedom of the press for years. Since the 2020 presidential election it has become clear that President Lukashenko and his government can only stay in office by using the toughest interventions in freedom of speech, freedom of the press or freedom of assembly and that they are ready to pull out all the stops to maintain power – even the hijacking of a civilian passenger plane,” Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of Media Foundation explains.
“The jury’s decision to award our media prize to Katsyaryna Bahvalava and Darya Chultsova is to be understood as a signal of encouragement to all media professionals and also to civil society – not only in Belarus – to stand up for freedom of speech and independent reporting. The jury expressly appreciates the commitment of the two young journalists, who by their work drew attention to the fate of Roman Bondarenko, made heard the voice of free reporting in an autocratic regime and, like so many others, now suffer from the regime’s repression”, Seeger continues. “We insistently demand the immediate release from prison of our two award winners and the end of their criminal prosecution.”