Attacks on the Press
• Authorities wage post-election crackdown, raiding newsrooms and jailing reporters.
• New Internet law requires registration of sites, tracking of user activity.
20: Journalists detained as government silences coverage of election protests.
In a massive post-election crackdown, authorities raided news outlets and detained at least 20 journalists covering protests over a flawed December 19 presidential vote that delivered a new term to incumbent Aleksandr Lukashenko. Leading journalists such as Natalya Radina, editor of the pro-opposition news website Charter 97
, and Irina Khalip, correspondent for the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta
, were among those being held in late year. Security agents stormed newsrooms of major outlets, including Radio for Belarus and the satellite television channel Belsat. Observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe criticized the government for secretive vote-counting practices and suppression of news media.