International League for Human Rights representatives: Without truthful information about the government, without access to alternative opinion, the Belarusians will not be able to be contemporary citizens and move forward.
The oldest human rights group in the US – the International League for Human Rights – organized a special briefing on 22 September in Warsaw, that was devoted to the situation with the freedom of speech in Belarus. Journalists from Belarus and representatives of the OSCE member states that take part in the Warsaw conference "OSCE in the human dimension" have been invited.
According to Radio Liberty, during the two-hour briefing the chair of Belarusian Association of Journalists Zhanna Litsvina and the journalists of the independent newspapers Andrzej Pisalnik and Katsiaryna Kharyna told the attending representatives of several tens of OSCE countries about the conditions of work for the independent media in Belarus.
Ms Litsvina reminded that the overall weekly circulation of independent public and political newpapers in Belarus is about 300 thousand copies - which is six times less than the circulation of only one state-owned newspaper, the organ of the Presidential Administration.
In turn Andrzej Pisalnik, who declared during the briefing his intention to resume the newspaper Glos znad Niemna under the editorial guidance of Anzhalika Borys, the UPB chair unrecognized by the Minsk authorities, and noted that journalists in Belarus need, first of all, international support.
During the discussion there also was raised the issue of creating an independent Belarusian radio that would broadcast to the territory of Belarus from abroad - the Belarusian representatives welcomed the idea, emphasizing that this broadcasting should be exclusively in Belarusian.
Volha Tarasau, a representative of the International League for Human Rights, said: "Our organizations has been watching the situation in Belarus for about ten years. We are convinced that the freedom of speech is a very fundamental and vital issue for this country. Without truthful information about the government, without access to alternative opinion, the Belarusians will not be able to be contemporary citizens and move forward. So we believe that international assistance to the Belarusians in the political sphere and in the field of the media is very important".