Belarusian journalists face serious threats in a repressive regime
Since Alexander Lukashenko’s controversial reelection in August 2020, Belarusian journalists have faced various threats, which forced them to adapt in order not to be silenced.
RSF’s partner, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), noted that around 400 journalists have fled to neighboring countries, such as Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania. The ones who stayed in their homeland, face difficulties on a regular basis, using the encrypting messaging app Telegram as a main tool of communication.
Starting from 2020 the Belarusian authorities have changed certain laws to the extent of legally infringing freedom of the press. Living in this atmosphere, Belarusian journalists have been the subjects of around 500 arrests, fines, censorship, threats, searches, prison sentences, mistreatment, torture, and reprisals against loved ones, as RSF states. Even exiled journalists live in fear of being kidnapped, thus deciding to work anonymously.
RSF is giving Belarus 153rd place out of 180 countries in their 2022 World Press Freedom Index.