European Interest

MEPs: Belarusian authorities must stop the harassment of journalists

Flickr/Marco Fieber/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A pro-democracy demonstration in Minsk, Belarus.

MEPs deplore arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders in Belarus.

Amid deteriorating media freedom in Belarus, MEPs condemn the repeated detention and state harassment of journalists and independent news outlets in the country. They also consider it unacceptable that the authorities have blocked the leading independent Belarusian news website Charter 97, and strongly disapprove of the recent amendments adopted to the country’s media law, which are being used to create bureaucratic burdens for journalists and tighten control over the internet.

Parliament regrets the fact that Belarus is continuing its repressive and undemocratic policy against journalists, lawyers, political activists and civil society actors; such repression hinders any closer relationship with the EU and broader participation in the Eastern Partnership, MEPs stress.

Finally, they call for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners Mikhail Zhamchuzhny and Dzmitry Paliyenka, and urge the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to closely monitor the situation of media freedom in Belarus.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

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