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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
News

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
News

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
News

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.
News

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.
News

Countrywide Raids Target Top Rights Groups, Activists, Journalists

(Berlin) – Belarusian law enforcement officials carried out a nationwide wave of raids targeting human rights defenders and journalists on February 16, 2021, rounding up at least 40 people and searching their homes and offices, Human Rights Watch said…
Police in Minsk carry documents and computers out of the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists on February 16, 2021, as Andrei Bastunets, the head of the organization, looks on.
News

Online News Outlet TUT.BY Stripped of Media Credentials

On December 3, a court in Minsk stripped TUT.BY of its media license over allegedly spreading “false information.” TUT.BY is one of the most popular online outlets in Belarus, reporting on a broad range of social and political issues, including police…
Young demonstrators during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, 6 December 2020.
News

Documented Wide Range of Government Abuses against Protesters, Political

(Berlin) – A new expert report has found “massive and systemic” human rights violations in Belarus before and in the aftermath of the August 9, 2020 presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today. The report documents election fraud, violations…
A protester waves the former national Belarus' flag in Minsk, on June 7, 2020, during a collect of signatures in support of alternative candidates ahead of Belarus presidential election on August 9, 2020.
News

Teachers’ Syndicate Board Released; Others Still Held

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have exploited the country’s Covid-19 pandemic to forcibly disperse public protests against the arbitrary closure of the country’s Teachers Syndicate and mass arrests of its leadership, Human Rights Watch said today…
 Jordanian police block a road in front of protestors in Irbid, north of Jordan on August 1, 2020.
News

Latest Escalation in Media Restrictions

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have used a sweeping gag order, harassment, and arrests to limit media coverage of ongoing protests stemming from the arbitrary closure of the Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate on July 25, 2020, Human Rights Watch said…
Thousands of Jordanian teachers march from the governorship building to the Professional Unions Complex to demand a reversal of the decision to close the Teachers Union, in Irbid, Jordan on August 01, 2020.
News

Thousands Detained; Beatings, Stun Grenades, Rubber Bullets

(Berlin) – Belarus security forces viciously beat and detained largely peaceful protesters over the country’s election outcome on August 9 and 10, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The security forces variously used stun grenades, rubber bullets…
People argue with police during a rally after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, late Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020.
News

Authorities Arbitrarily Detain Peaceful Critics, Endangering Health

(Moscow) – Belarusian authorities have intensified their crackdown on independent activists and journalists, with presidential elections less than three months away, Human Rights Watch said today. Between May 6 and 13, 2020, the…
A nearly empty Oktyabrskaya Street in Minsk, Belarus amid coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions on April 05, 2020.
News

New Penalties for ‘Causing Panic’ About Pandemic

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have arrested media workers and others and issued a vaguely worded emergency decree that could chill online discussion about Jordan’s Covid-19 response, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the…
Jordanian police personnel guard at a checkpoint during the second day of a nationwide curfew, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan. © 2020 Reuters
News

Olympic Officials Should Ensure Reporters’ Safety

(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities have carried out concerted attacks on media freedom over the past two years that directly affect the climate in which news media will cover the country before, during, and after the upcoming European Games,…
The office of the Belarusian news website, Tut.by. The Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus has ordered the detention of some Tut.by staff, along with other media workers, alleging they had unauthorized access to information owned by governm
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Mass Arrests, Beatings of Protesters, Journalists, Rights Defenders

(Moscow) – Authorities across Belarus arbitrarily detained at least 700 people in March 2017 in connection with peaceful protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The majority, including more than 100 journalists and 60 human rights activists, were…
Riot police detain a man during a rally in Minsk on March 25.
News

Turkmenistan Seeking Extradition on 2006 Case

Update September 15, 2016 On September 14, the Belarusian prosecutor’s office denied the Turkmen government’s request to extradite Chary Annamuradov, the former dissident and journalist from Turkmenistan. Belarusian authorities released him…
2016-8-eca-turkmenistan-chary
News
Svetlana Alexievich is an important independent voice from a country where most such voices have been silenced: Belarus. Human Rights Watch celebrates her recognition as the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1994 and again in 1996, Ms…
Svetlana Alexievich