The report was prepared by the following human rights organizations: Human Rights Centre"Viasna", the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and in cooperation with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).
The Belarusian Association of Journalists presented the second interim results of monitoring the media coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists presented the interim results of monitoring the media coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
Belarus appeared among the few European countries that refused to announce a lock-down in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. But for that, the government rejected the seriousness of this deadly disease for a long period of time.The President of Belarus Aliaksandr Lukashenka called the pandemic a 'psychosis' and 'infodemia' and called on the Ministry of Information and law enforcement agencies to fight the spread of 'hype' on the subject of coronavirus.
The general situation in the Belarusian mass media field was controversial in 2019. On the one hand, it was influenced by the overwhelming trend of reinforcing governmental control over the media space. On the other hand, due to hosting the 2nd European Games, the official authorities were pushed towards greater openness of the country. The complicated foreign policy and economic situation in Belarus, including negotiation processes with the European Union and the United States, the increasing size of external debt and pressure on the part of Russia as well as the elections to the Belarusian parliament, held on November 17, 2019, had their impact on the situation in the media field, too.
The report summarises the findings of the monitoring of the 2019 parliamentary election coverage in Belarusian media.
On November 14, the Belarusian Association of Journalists presented the second stage of its Monitoring of the Media Coverage of the Parliamentary Elections-2019.
Situation in Mass Media Field in July – September 2019. The situation in the Belarusian mass media field has remained calm on the eve of Parliamentary elections, which were scheduled for November 17, 2019. However, at least two journalists faced personal threats, which lacked investigation within the reporting period. After more than a three-month-long pause there were registered new cases of persecution of freelance journalists for their cooperation with foreign media. Claims were filed against several online media outlets to protect the honor and dignity of certain officials, but the cases are expected to be considered in court in November 2019.