News on the topic: freedom of expression
08.12.2020 “We Will Not Forget”: Prison sentences for writing on pavement
The Frunzienski District Court of Minsk sentenced today Maksim Pauliushchyk to two years in prison for spray-painting “We Will Not Forget” on the pavement near the Puškinskaja metro station as a sign of remembrance of protester Aliaksandr Taraikouski who died on the spot on August 10, reportedly from a rubber bullet fired by a law enforcement officer.
24.10.2020 Authorities designate Telegram channel NEXTA as “extremist” in further crackdown on independent media
Around 30 human rights organisations strongly condemn the ruling by a Belarusian court to include the popular Telegram channel NEXTA in the list of “extremist” materials under Article 17.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences. The decision effectively penalises Belarusians for seeking to access independent news sources, branding those exercising their right to freedom of expression and information as ‘extremist’, and is part of a worsening crackdown on dissent.
28.06.2020 Amnesty International: Bloggers and activists arrested in purge ahead of the presidential election must be released
The Belarusian authorities are carrying out a full-scale purge of dissenting voices, using repressive laws to stifle criticism ahead of the elections, where President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is running for the sixth consecutive term. Opposition candidates, supporters, and independent media have faced arbitrary arrest, hefty fines, and incarceration. Now those active on social media are being targeted.
26.06.2020 Four critical bloggers charged in Tsikhanouski case
Four bloggers known for their criticism of the current government have been charged under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (group actions that grossly disturb public order) and are facing up to three years in prison
18.06.2020 Violence, threats, detentions. Human rights activists complain to UN special rapporteurs
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center "Viasna" have written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and a number of UN thematic rapporteurs asking them to take all appropriate measures to assist in improving the current human rights situation in Belarus and also in securing fair and democratic elections.
05.06.2020 Belarus must stop crackdown to silence opposing views – UN experts
A group of UN experts today expressed serious concern about an intensified crackdown on civil society in Belarus, saying the country’s government must protect the right to freedom of expression and stop silencing critical voices.
09.07.2019 Critical blogger cleared of embezzlement charges
The Investigative Committee’s office in the city of Biaroza, Brest region, has closed the criminal case against blogger Aliaksandr Kabanau, known for his role in covering the environmental protests in Brest. He was suspected of misappropriation of more than 400 rubles (USD 200) under Art. 211, Part 1 of the Criminal Code.
05.06.2019 Resolution of international conference "Human Rights and Combating Extremism"
Belarusian participants of the international conference "Human rights and Combating Extremism" adopted a common resolution.
04.06.2019 Minsk hosts conference on human rights and combating extremism
On June 4, Minsk human rights space Rights Territory hosts an international conference "Human Rights and Combating Extremism." The event features local and international human rights experts.
11.04.2019 OSCE Representative denounces search of Belsat
VIENNA, 10 April 2019 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, denounced the search conducted on 9 April in the editorial office of the Belsat TV channel in Minsk, Belarus. He called on the authorities to exercise restraint in bringing libel charges against media and journalists, and reiterated his call on the authorities to decriminalize defamation.
02.04.2019 Immediately stop prosecution of blogger Siarhei Piatrukhin
Joint statement by human rights and other civil society organizations
21.03.2019 Human rights defenders alarmed by unprecedented attack on critical bloggers
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” is concerned about the situation of blogger Andrei Pavuk, who was arrested on March 20.
19.03.2019 Harlem Désir: We are concerned about fight against extremism
Mr. Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, has met with members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and representatives of independent media as part of his working visit to Minsk, BAJ press service said.
08.01.2019 ARTICLE 19: New decree severely limits right to anonymity online
ARTICLE 19 is concerned by the Belarusian government’s newly adopted decree, which severely limits Internet users’ right to anonymity online. Since 1 December 2018 Internet users in Belarus must prove their identity before they can make online posts.
06.09.2018 Viasna alerts UN Special Rapporteurs over persecution for solidarity with REP leaders
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" has written to Mr. David Kaye, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, United Nations Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to highlight the sentencing of 11 opposition activists, who staged a protest outside the House of Justice in Minsk on August 24 to demonstrate solidarity with the convicted leaders of the independent trade union REP Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik.