Belarus closes journalist organisation in the latest move to suppress critical reporting

By Mudit Mohan Sharma

Belarus has ordered the closure of the country’s largest freelance journalists’ organisation, the most recent move by authorities to suppress important news in a very year-long crackdown on dissent. The August 27 order by the country’s Supreme Court to liquidate the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) follows the jailing of some thirty journalists, raids on newspaper offices, obstruction of the websites of major freelance media and shutting of the PEN Centre writers’ organisation that was headed by Nobel literature laureate Svetlana Alexieveich.

Belarus additionally off enfranchisement for foreign news organisations when huge protests began in August 2020 following presidential elections that official however controversial results say gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in the workplace. Mr Lukashenko has led the former Soviet republic since 1994. Kyiv (Ukraine), aug aug (AP) Belarus has ordered the closure of the country’s largest freelance journalists’ organisation, the most recent move by authorities to suppress important news in a very long suppression on dissent.

Friday’s order by the country’s supreme court to liquidate the Belarusian Association of Journalists follows the jailing of some thirty journalists, raids on newspaper offices, obstruction of the websites of major freelance media and closing of the PEN Centre writers’ organisation that was headed by Nobel literature laureate Svetlana Alexieveich. Byelorussia additionally off enfranchisement for foreign news organisations when huge protests began in August 2020 following presidential elections that official however controversial results say gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in the workplace. Lukashenko has led the previous Soviet republic since 1994.

The formal reason for the order was that 2 of the BAJ’s six branches allegedly finished their lease contracts. The organisation denied the accusation, however was unable to supply supporting documents, since the organisation’s workplace was sealed when searches and confiscation of equipment in July. “We can continue to do our job, no matter the choice of the courts, that clumsily fulfil the political order of the authorities,” BAJ head Andrei Bastunets told The Associated Press.

“Expanding the area for freedom of speech has been the mission of the organisation for over a quarter of a century, however currently the darkest times have are available Belarus.” (AP) SCY SCY The formal reason for the order was that 2 of the BAJ’s six branches allegedly finished their lease contracts. The organisation denied the accusation, however was unable to supply supporting documents, since the organisation’s workplace was sealed when searches and seizure of kit in July. “We can still do our job, no matter the choice of the courts, that clumsily fulfil the political order of the authorities,” BAJ head Andrei Bastunets told The Associated Press. “Expanding the area for freedom of speech has been the mission of the organisation for over a quarter of a century, however currently the darkest times have are available Byelorussia.”

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