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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
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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
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

End Violations of Media Freedom; Annul Abusive Measures; Ensure Impartiality

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), is imposing punitive and disproportionate sanctions against independent television and radio channels that broadcast commentary and news coverage critical of…
The Monitoring Center of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) where the broadcasts of more than 1780 radio and television stations are regulated.  November 9, 2020 
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
(Berlin) – The following statement was issued by 11 organizations, including Human Rights Watch, following their  visit to Turkey on October 6-9, 2020 to meet with journalists, officials, and others to assess the conditions for media freedom in…
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

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

Prosecutor Widens Unjustified Probe of Osman Kavala

Update: Of the 13 people detained on November 16, 12 were released but are banned from overseas travel. An Istanbul court ruled that Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who has worked for many years in the field of human rights, including at…
Istanbul police detained 13 academics and individuals working for nongovernmental group Anadolu Kültür, November 16, 2018.
News

Students on Trial Despite Right to Free Speech

(Berlin) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to drop a complaint against four Ankara students he accused of “insulting the president” for holding up a satirical banner, Human Rights Watch said today. The students’ trial is due to…
The graduation ceremony at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, July 6. 2018. The banner carried by students accused of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the hundreds laid out at the ceremony.
News

Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Draft Law Permits Purging Judges; Prolonged Detention; Curbing Movement, Assembly

(Istanbul)—A draft law being rushed through Turkey’s parliament will preserve many of the abusive powers granted to the president and executive under the country’s recent state of emergency, which formally ended on July 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch…
The human rights monument in Ankara cordoned off with a police barricade during Turkey’s state of emergency to prevent its use as a site of public assembly and protest, 2017.
News

Jailed Amnesty Turkey Chair, 10 Other Activists Face Unfounded Charges

(Istanbul) – Sham criminal proceedings against Amnesty International Turkey’s honorary chair Taner Kılıç and 10 other human rights defenders are set to resume on June 21, 2018, Human Rights Watch said. The rights…
Taner Kilic, head of Amnesty International Turkey, speaks at a conference.