ECPMF joins call for immediate release of all imprisoned journalists

05 February 2021

Ahead of the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on 7 February, the undersigned organisations working in the field of freedom of expression and media freedom call for the immediate and unconditional release of all journalists and media workers who continue to be arbitrarily detained.

 

Nearly six months since President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in what has been widely acknowledged and condemned as a fraudulent election, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya remains in exile and thousands of protesters continue to take to the streets of Minsk calling for his resignation.

 

The regime has made every effort to prevent its citizens from accessing independent information. News outlets have had their publishing licences revoked. Some have their equipment seized. Independent newspapers are banned from printing and barred from sales through the national state monopolist retailer.

 

As part of this effort, the authorities have also used violence, threats, and arbitrary detention to intimidate journalists and prevent them from doing their jobs. Reporters and photographers wearing press vests have been deliberately targeted by law enforcement. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), journalists were detained 480 times in 2020. They have spent over 1,200 days behind bars, often without being told what, if any, charges they face.

 

At least ten journalists and media workers remain in detention, among them are several of our friends and colleagues. They are: Katsiaryna Barysevich, Daria Chultsova, Yulia Slutskaya, Alla Sharko, Siarhei Alsheuski, Petr Slutski, Ksenia Lutskina, Andrei Aliaksandrau, and Aliaksandr Mikrukou.

 

As the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus approaches, we are calling for each and every journalist and media worker to be immediately and unconditionally released. We condemn the blatant violations to their human rights and once again remind the Belarusian authorities of their obligations under international law.

Signed by:

Jessica Ní Mhainín, Senior Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, Index on Censorship

Dave Elseroad, Head of Advocacy and Geneva Office, Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)

Maria Ordzhonikidze, Director, Justice for Journalists Foundation

Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19

Laurens Hueting, Advocacy Officer, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk, Secretary General, International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC)

Marcin Lewicki, President, Press Club Polska

Daniela Kraus, General Secretary, Presseclub Concordia, Vienna

Andrei Bastunets, Chairperson, Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ)

Peter Spiegel, Press Freedom Committee Chair, Overseas Press Club of America (OPC)

Board of Frankfurter Presseclub

Board of Press Club Brussels Europe

Pierre Ruetschi, Executive Director, Geneva Press Club

Ryszard Bankowicz, President, Polish Club of International Columnists

S Venkat Narayan, President, FCC of South Asia, New Delhi, India

Uri Dromi, Director General, Jerusalem Press Club

Read news by categories:

Related news

Statement

MFRR partners call for lifting ban on journalists’ access to Georgian parliament

MFRR condemns the barring of journalists from reporting within the Parliament of Georgia.

READ MORE
Statement

Unterstützung auch für freie Journalist*innen: ECPMF und EFJ stärken Forderung des DJV nach Schutzkodex

ECPMF und EFJ stärken DJV's Aufruf, dass mehr Medienunternehmen den Schutzkodex für Journalisten beitreten.

READ MORE
Statement

Solidarity with Journalists in Gaza

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) expresses its steadfast solidarity with journalists working under unprecedentedly deadly conditions in Gaza.

READ MORE
Statement

ECPMF remembers Christophe Deloire

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) extends its deepest condolences to the family of Christophe Deloire, director general of Reporters without Borders (RSF).

READ MORE
Statement

Media freedom groups call on Slovakia’s Parliament to reject public broadcasting bill

Journalists and media freedom groups are urging Slovakia’s MPs to reject the proposed public service broadcasting bill.

READ MORE
Statement

Germany: Journalist Ignacio Rosaslanda was physically assaulted by police while covering a police operation

On 23 May 2024, Ignacio Rosaslanda was physically attacked at the Humboldt University's Institute of Social Sciences when covering protests by pro-Palestinian activists.

READ MORE
Tags :