Veronika Cherkasova

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Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2007: Belarus

BELARUS

Authorities moved aggressively to control the Internet, introducing sweeping new restrictions that allow the government to monitor citizens’ use of the Web. President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s administration continued its practice of suppressing dissent—but paid a price in May when the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) denied Belarus a seat following international criticism of the country’s poor human rights and press freedom record.
February 5, 2008 11:51 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine

Attacks on the Press 2006: Europe and Central Asia Analysis

Getting away with murder in the former Soviet states
By Nina Ognianova

The assassin in a baseball cap who gunned down Anna Politkovskaya outside her Moscow apartment used a silencer. But reverberations from the contract-style slaying of Russia's icon of investigative journalism were felt around the world.

Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2006: Belarus

BELARUS

Determined to forestall the kind of democratic uprising that toppled the government in neighboring Ukraine, authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko and his government crushed dissent in the run-up to the March presidential election—and well beyond. Official results showed that Lukashenko collected 83 percent of the vote to gain a third term, but international observers said the election fell far short of democratic standards. Authorities arrested dozens of domestic and foreign journalists who tried to report on the campaign and subsequent demonstrations in the capital, Minsk, over voting irregularities. In the months surrounding the election, the Lukashenko administration made it nearly impossible for independent and opposition media to deliver news and opinion to their audiences. The state postal service refused to deliver newspapers critical of the government; the state distribution agency banned sales of such papers on newsstands; printing houses refused to print them under government pressure; and border police confiscated entire press runs of publications that managed to find alternative printers abroad. Under such dismal conditions, papers set up distribution systems reminiscent of the underground press in Soviet times, selling copies from their newsrooms and dispatching volunteers to deliver them door-to-door to subscribers. Even then, some volunteers were arrested, CPJ research shows.
February 5, 2007 11:42 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Son of slain journalist Veronika Cherkasova released on bail

New York, March 14, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail of the 16-year-old son of murdered journalist Veronika Cherkasova. Anton Filimonov was freed Monday from the Minsk detention center where he had been held since December 27, local media reported.

Although he was formally charged with forging currency, Filimonov was pressured by investigators to “confess” to killing his mother, according to his grandparents.
March 14, 2006 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2005: Belarus

BELARUS

Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko continued a systematic crackdown on independent media and nongovernmental organizations, further tightening control over domestic news ahead of the 2006 presidential election. Lukashenko consolidated internal power after a rigged October 2004 parliamentary election and accompanying referendum that eliminated presidential term limits, but he was still left looking nervously over his shoulder at political change happening elsewhere in the region.
February 16, 2006 11:43 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Belarusian election undermined by state abuses against media

Moscow, February 10, 2006—The Belarusian government's persecution of the country's few independent newspapers undermines the integrity of the March 19 presidential election in which Aleksandr Lukashenko seeks a third term, the Committee to Protect Journalists and two regional press freedom organizations said today. The groups called on the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United States to renounce the vote if Belarusian authorities continue to deny the public access to independent reporting.
February 10, 2006 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Prosecutors drop probe into stabbing death of journalist

New York, January 3, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that the Belarusian prosecutor's office has suspended an investigation of the murder of journalist Veronika Cherkasova. Local and international press reports said the authorities shelved the case on December 28 for lack of suspects. The authorities did not examine whether Cherkasova was stabbed to death in October 2004 because of her writing.
January 3, 2006 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Journalist found dead in apartment

New York, October 20, 2005—Vasily Grodnikov, a freelancer who wrote for the Minsk opposition newspaper Narodnaya Volya, was found dead with a head wound in his apartment outside Minsk on Monday, local and international news agencies reported.

CPJ is seeking to determine whether Grodnikov, 66, was murdered in retaliation for his journalistic work.

Authorities have harassed Narodnaya Volya in retaliation for its criticism of President Aleksandr Lukashenko. State-run kiosks are not permitted to sell the newspaper and authorities recently ended its printing contract, forcing it to use a printer in the neighboring Russian city of Smolensk.
October 20, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2004: Belarus

Belarus

President Aleksandr Lukashenko strangled the country's independent and opposition media in the months before deeply flawed October elections that returned his supporters to Parliament. The obedient state media flooded the capital, Minsk, and the countryside with pro-Lukashenko propaganda, vilifying opposition leaders and urging voters to support the president or face Western domination and political instability. The October vote also ratified a constitutional amendment enabling the president to seek a third term.
March 14, 2005 11:43 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Belarus

Journalist killed in her apartment

New York, October 21, 2004—Well-known Belarusian journalist Veronika Cherkasova was killed in her apartment in the capital, Minsk, yesterday. Her body, which had multiple stab wounds, was found last night, according to local and international reports.

Cherkasova, 44, had reported for the Minsk-based opposition newspaper Solidarnost since May 2003. Previously, she worked for the independent business newspaper Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta (BDG), where she reported from 1995 to 2002. Cherkasova primarily covered social and cultural news but occasionally wrote about politically sensitive issues such as drug abuse, according to her former BDG colleague and editor, Svetlana Kalinkina.
October 21, 2004 12:00 PM ET

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