On 19 November, the European Union Delegation to Belarus called on the Belarusian regime to immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners, and journalists among them.
The statement was published after the independent media organisation BelaPAN was proclaimed ‘an extremist formation’.
The Delegation reminds that BelaPAN information company was founded by Ales Lipai 30 years ago, just a couple of months after Belarus became independent.
“Today the company’s highly dedicated and professional team, the backbone of the country’s independent press, have no cause to celebrate. As Belarus authorities continued their crackdown on the Belarusian society and journalism in particular, they imprisoned BelaPAN’s chief editor Iryna Leushyna and former director Dzmitry Navazhylau on unfathomable charges and labelled BelaPAN ‘an extremist formation,” says the statement. “There are 29 journalists in prison in Belarus today. Journalism is not a crime.”
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