Belarus

2010


Alerts   |   Belarus

CPJ demands Belarus end its assault on press

Demonstrators hold signs for jailed journalist Irina Khalip and her son. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

New York, December 27, 2010--Belarusian authorities must immediately halt their assault on independent and pro-opposition news media, a crackdown that has led to unjust detentions, raids, and seizures, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Alerts   |   Belarus

Journalists held by Belarus KGB face up to 15 years in prison

Belarusian journalists Irina Khalip, left, and Natalya Radina. They are currently held by the KGB in Minsk. (AP/Sergei Grits)
New York, December 23, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the ongoing detention and potential prosecution of Belarusian journalists Natalya Radina, editor of the pro-opposition news website Charter 97, and Irina Khalip, local correspondent for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Both are considered suspects in organizing and participating in mass disorder--a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison if convicted, according to the website of the State Department of Internal Affairs (GUVD) in Minsk. It is not clear whether the two have been officially charged yet.
December 23, 2010 10:32 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Dozens of journalists beaten, arrested in Belarus crackdown

Riot police officers move to block thousands of opposition supporters in Belarus trying to storm the main government building to protest alleged vote-rigging in Sunday's election. (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)

New York, December 20, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the violent government crackdown against journalists covering demonstrations in Minsk against Sunday's flawed presidential vote won by President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Security police have arrested at least 20 journalists and beaten at least 20 more between the outbreak of rallies Sunday evening and their forcible dispersal in the early morning, according to local news reports.

Blog   |   Belarus, Internet

Widespread Net disruption surrounds Belarus election coverage

As I mentioned last Friday, local journalists in Belarus were preparing for targeted disruption to Internet communications during Sunday's presidential elections. The online news site Charter '97, which has experienced more than its fair share of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks and police raids in the past, was already warning its readers last week to use their Facebook page as an alternative, in the event of its main site being attacked.

The extent of the widespread press crackdown in Minsk is still being measured, but I've been reading reports from within Belarus that spell out the drastic Internet side of the restrictions. Not only was Charter '97 attacked over the weekend, but apparently sites like Facebook and Twitter were also blocked by Belarus ISPs. Even more significantly, there has been widespread filtering of the channels that encrypted communications like "https" and secure email use. These filters aren't specific to one site, but block traffic based on how it connects to remote sites. That means that not only news or social networking sites, but banking, financial and most website login pages would be disrupted. It also means that journalists on the ground have been unable to access services like Gmail, or even send email directly from mail clients.

Hal Roberts at Berkman has more details. As the Charter '97 English Twitter feed notes, when your electricity is cut off and editors are being detained, such subtle technical censorship is somewhat of a side-note for journalists working within the country. But during key events, when reporters and eye-witnesses are working with foreign news media, such blocking can seriously hamper the ability to gather information and describe what is happening to the world at large.

December 20, 2010 5:04 PM ET

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Blog   |   Belarus, Brazil, Greece, Internet, Iraq, Pakistan, Rwanda

Six stories: Online journalists killed in 2010

Greek blogger Giolias (AP)

This week, CPJ published its year-end analysis of work-related fatalities among journalists. Six of the 42 victims worked online. While you can read the full statistics and our special report elsewhere, I want to highlight the stories of these six journalists who worked on the Web.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Thailand, Yemen

As bombings spread, Pakistan deadliest nation

At least 42 journalists are killed in 2010 as two trends emerge. Suicide attacks and violent street protests cause an unusually high proportion of deaths. And online journalists are increasingly prominent among the victims. A CPJ special report

A December suicide attack in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal district claimed the lives of two journalists. (Reuters/Umar Qayyum)

Blog   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Fighting bogus piracy raids, Microsoft issues new licenses

CPJ has documented for several years the use of spurious anti-piracy raids to shut down and intimidate media organizations in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Offices have been shut down, and computers seized. Often, security agents make bogus claims to be representing or acting on behalf of the U.S. software company Microsoft.

December 7, 2010 3:10 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

CPJ calls for independent probe of Aleh Byabenin's death

New York, December 3, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that Belarusian prosecutors have closed their investigation into the September death of Aleh Byabenin, founder and director of the Minsk-based, pro-opposition news website Charter 97. Authorities said Wednesday that they did not find evidence of foul play.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Belarus, Iraq, Pakistan

Murder, 'suicide,' crossfire: A week of journalist killings

Today we will report another murder of a journalist. This one was in Argentina. The last one we documented was a couple days ago--Alberto Graves Chakussanga was shot in the back in Angola. These tragedies are part of our daily work at CPJ, but this week was different. There have been eight killings of journalists around the globe since September 3, an unusually high number during my three years as an editor here.
September 10, 2010 12:56 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Journalist found dead in Belarus; CPJ calls for investigation

A memorial for Byabenin. (AP)
New York, September 8, 2010--Belarusian authorities must thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Aleh Byabenin, founder and director of the Minsk-based pro-opposition news website Charter 97, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Byabenin's brother and several friends found the journalist hanging from a stairway in his summer house outside the capital city of Minsk on Friday at around 5 p.m., Natalya Radina, editor of Charter 97, told CPJ. Byabenin had made plans with friends Thursday afternoon to go to the movies the same evening, but failed to show up at the theater, Radina said. 
September 8, 2010 3:37 PM ET

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Statements   |   Belarus

Belarusian authorities strip Sheremet of citizenship

We issued the following statement after learning that Belarusian authorities have stripped Pavel Sheremet, a prominent journalist living in Russia, of his Belarusian citizenship. In an interview today for the independent news Web site Belarussky Partizan, Sheremet said he received a notice about this from the Belarusian embassy in Moscow. Sheremet said the notice did not specify the reason.

March 31, 2010 10:16 AM ET

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Blog   |   Belarus, Kazakhstan

In bad company: Kazakhstan takes page from Belarus

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, left, and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a November economic conference. (AP/Sergei Grits)

Belarus has been termed Europe’s last dictatorship because of its long intolerance of dissent and press freedom. So accustomed is the world to the clampdowns of President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime that neither a recently issued decree on Internet access, which requires that providers record users’ personal data, nor last week’s police raids at a number of independent news offices, came as much of a surprise to anyone. “Belarus—reliably repressive” would be the country’s bumper sticker were press freedom groups to make one.

Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarusian police raid news offices in defamation probe

New York, March 16, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns raids conducted today by Minsk police at the offices of the independent news Web site Charter 97, the independent newspaper Narodnaya Volya, and the home office of freelance reporter Irina Khalip.

Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2009: Belarus

Top Developments
• Restrictive law requires media obtain government registration.
• Administration eases some repressive tactics to gain EU favor.

Key Statistic
13: Independent papers blacklisted by state-controlled distributors.

Authorities eased their heavy-handed tactics of repression for much of the year even as a restrictive new media law took effect. The change in tone coincided with the European Union’s suspension of a three-year-old travel ban against President Aleksandr Lukashenko and 35 top officials that was first imposed in response to the regime’s treatment of opposition activists and journalists.

February 16, 2010 12:47 AM ET
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