Our affiliates at the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have just published their annual report. The figures show that the repression of journalists and the media has not abated: 32 journalists and media workers are in prison and 12 independent media have been declared “terrorist organisations”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins BAJ in denouncing the repeated violations of press freedom and human rights by the Lukashenko regime.
In 2023, 46 journalists were arrested in Belarus, 33 media outlets were declared “extremists” and 12 other media outlest were declared “terrorists”. This observation comes at a time when the tech giants no longer hesitate to be complicit in the abuses of the dictator Lukashenko. The EFJ is once again calling on the tech giants to end their collaboration with regimes that repress media freedom, in Belarus and around the world.
Search engines, social media platforms and other internet intermediaries must facilitate access of the Belarusian public to independent online media resources provided by the Belarusian journalists and media outlets in exile. They must enable visibility and prominence of Belarusian independent media channels, messages and news feeds.
The EFJ is also calling on European governments and intergovernmental organisations to step up the pressure on dictator Lukashenko’s regime.
“We must also give unwavering support to Belarusian journalists in exile and to their association, BAJ, which continues to play a fundamental role in defending freedom and human rights in Belarus”, insisted EFJ President Maja Sever.