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CoE urged to include Belarus in platform monitoring journalists' safety

Journalist Marina Kostylyanchenko, who was detained while covering a protest, is escorted by police upon her arrival for a court hearing in Minsk, 27 March 2017
Journalist Marina Kostylyanchenko, who was detained while covering a protest, is escorted by police upon her arrival for a court hearing in Minsk, 27 March 2017

REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

This statement was originally published on europeanjournalists.org on 31 March 2017.

Partners of the Council of Europe Platform for the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists are deeply concerned by the aggravating current situation in Belarus regarding the mass detention of journalists. They urge Council of Europe to include Belarus to the list of the countries addressed by the Platform. Since the beginning of March, 93 journalists were detained by the police, while covering protests across the country. While the majority was released the same day, at least 8 journalists were sentenced to 5-15 days in jail.

The Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Article 19 (A19), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Index On Censorship, the International News Safety Institute (INSI), the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) wrote a joint letter to CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland on the importance of extending the platform to Belarus.

"We believe that it is essential to raise awareness and bring attention to the significant deterioration of media freedom in Belarus and the constant intimidation of journalists. Extending the platform to Belarus might be the best way to monitor and raise awareness of the escalation of the situation and daily detention of journalists."

On January 24, 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted recommendations, including the proposal to include Belarus in the list of the countries addressed by Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.

Click here to read the letter.

Or download the PDF.
belarus-letter-to-coe-journalists-safety.pdf (236 KB)

ARTICLE 19
Committee to Protect Journalists
Index on Censorship
International Federation of Journalists
International Press Institute
Reporters Without Borders

Association of European Journalists (AEJ)
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
International News Safety Institute (INSI)

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