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International human rights groups demand release of Viasna members on first anniversary of crackdown

On the first anniversary of the unprecedented crackdown on the Human Rights Center Viasna ("Viasna") in Belarus, 23 international and Belarusian human rights organizations are launching a campaign to demand the release of seven detained Viasna members,…
In The Hague, Netherlands, on August 7, a demonstrator holds a placard showing the names of some of those arbitrarily detained in Belarus for protesting against President Alexander Lukashenko, and calling for their release.
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End Harassment, Prosecutions of Critics

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, should commit to respect the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, which have long been suppressed in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s king appointed Ismail…
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Belarusian Association of Journalists Continues its Work despite the Crackdown

On August 27, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the appeal by the Justice Ministry to strip the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) of its official registration. Formal “liquidation” of the prominent group, which has worked tirelessly for 25…
 The door of the Belarusian Association of Journalists main office in Minsk, Belarus on June 2021
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Solidarity and Support Needed for Independent Belarusian Voices

One year ago, the center of Minsk was teaming with people protesting stolen presidential elections and asserting their voices matter. On that first evening, the mood was festive: women in bright summer dresses, some wearing heels, as if on their way…
A woman wearing white stands in front of riot police during a Belarusian opposition rally protesting the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, September 13, 2020. 
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Countrywide Searches, Detentions Also Target Journalists, Critics

(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities carried out a day of massive, unprecedented raids and detentions against the Belarus human rights community on July 14, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Police in at least 10 cities searched homes and offices…
Belarusian riot police block the road to stop demonstrators during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus on November 15, 2020.
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Thirteen Organisations Call for the Immediate and Unconditional Release

Index on Censorship and 12 other human rights, freedom of expression, media freedom, and journalists’ organisations unreservedly condemn the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of human rights defender and journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau, who is…
Riot police stand guard during demonstrations against police violence in Minsk, Belarus, September 6, 2020. 
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Sports Governing Bodies Should Call for an End to Criminalizing Athlete Rights Defenders

(Nyon) — The Belarusian authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges against Aliaksandra Herasimenia and Aliaksandr Apeikin, chair and executive director of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), the Sport & Rights…
Protesters objecting to the flawed August presidential election and the government's brutality, in march along the Independence Prospect during the "March of Unity" rally in Minsk, Belarus on Sunday, Sep. 6, 2020, Belarus.© 2020 SIPA USA via AP
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Belarusian Independent Media and Civil Society Need International Support

Democratic governments and international organizations are this week expressing shock and outrage over the unlawful forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk, and the consequent arbitrary arrest of prominent Belarussian activist and journalist Raman…
Belarus Protest Arrest Roman Protesevich
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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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Searches, Arrests of Journalists and Blocking of TUT.BY Websites

This week Belarusian authorities took yet another step in their relentless campaign to stifle independent media. This time their target is TUT.BY, one of the country’s largest news outlets. On the morning of May 18, police searched TUT.BY’s offices…
Marina Zolotova take questions media after announcement
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With GE15 on the horizon, there is a grave risk that arrests will continue to rise. Respect for freedom of speech in Malaysia is in free fall - a decline illustrated by two recent arrests. On the evening of Friday, April 23, seven police…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
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Parliament Should Reject the Bills, Guarantee Media Freedom

On April 2, Belarus’ parliament moved forward eight bills, including a raft of amendments to the country’s Mass Media Law and Mass Gatherings Law. If adopted, these amendments will further undermine freedom of speech and the work of independent…
Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich, right, and Dr. Artsiom Sorokin attend a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, 19 February, 2021.
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Stop Prosecutions, Guarantee Freedom of Press

(Moscow) – Belarusian authorities have escalated repression against independent journalists in the past five months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have arbitrarily detained and beaten journalists, imposed fines and prison sentences on…
Katsiaryna Barysevich, a journalist for the independent TUT.BY news website enters a court room during a trial in Minsk on 19 February, 2021.
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Families of Arrested Reporters Tell Their Stories

On December 22, Aleksandra Slutskaya, an energetic young woman with piercing light blue eyes, landed in Minsk airport together with her two children and her 56-year-old mother, journalist Yuliya Slutskaya. After a vacation on a warm and sunny beach,…
Yulia Alsheuskaya looking through the window of her house outside of Minsk, which she shares with her husband Siarhei who is currently in detention, January 2021.
News

New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
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Interactive Dialogue on Human Rights Situation in Belarus

(Geneva) – The High Commissioner’s report on the situation in Belarus compellingly describes the widespread, brutal, and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and their supporters in the context of the recent presidential vote. It also details the…
Young demonstrators during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, 6 December 2020.
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Belarus protest Oct 25
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Decision Holding Portals Liable Poses Serious Risk to Freedom of Speech

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian Federal Court decision holding an online news site responsible for reader comments contravenes international human rights standards and will chill free speech in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. The court on…
Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan speaks to the media at the Federal Court in in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 19, 2021. 
News

Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Daria Chultsova sentenced to two years in prison

Today a district court in Minsk, Belarus sentenced journalist Katsiaryna Andreyeva and her colleague and camerawoman Daria Chultsova to two years in prison having deemed them guilty of “organizing activities violating public order.” The two women…
Journalists Ekaterina Andreyeva (Bakhvalova), right, and Daria Chultsova embrace inside the defendants' cage during a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, February 9, 2021.