OSCE Media Freedom Representative condemns yet another attack on the BAJ
OSCE Media Freedom Representative condemns yet another attack on the Belarusian Association of Journalists
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, today, 8 Mar. 23, condemned the Belarusian authorities’ decision to designate the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) as an “extremist formation”.
According to reports, on 7 March 2023, the Belarusian authorities added BAJ to its list of “extremist formations,” based on an earlier decision by the Committee for State Security. Eight individual members of BAJ, including the organization’s management, have also been included in the list. The act of creating, or participating in, an “extremist formation” carries the possibility of being punished with long prison sentences.
“It is deeply regretful that the Belarusian authorities continue to create a climate of harassment and fear among and towards members of the media, deliberately targeting and stifling free and independent voices,” Ribeiro said. “The decision of the authorities to designate BAJ as an “extremist formation” aims to further undermine the organization’s important work of protecting and advocating for the rights of journalists and is the latest manifestation of the clampdown by the authorities on media freedom in the country. I have also noted with great concern the authorities’ previous decisions to add BelaPAN, Nasha Niva, Euroradio, and other independent media, to the list of “extremist formations”.”