Wednesday 22 February 2017 | 00:00

European federation of journalists: Immediately cease pressure on freelance journalists

06.06.2015  |  Society
European federation of journalists: Immediately cease pressure on freelance journalists

The European Federation of Journalists issued a statement on the alarming situation with freelance journalism in Belarus.

At the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Annual Meeting in Budva, Montenegro, June 1 - 2, EFJ the organization made a statement on the situation of freelancers in Belarus, which is cited below.

The EFJ called on Belarusian authorities to drop the practice of holding freelancers accountable for work

“The actual failure to recognize the existence of freelance journalists, who do not cooperate constantly with any specific media, by the Belarusian official authorities, creates a serious problem for the media workers.

The situation is particularly grave for the freelancers, who cooperate with foreign media, since they are not mentioned in the Belarusian legislation. According to the Belarusian law “On Mass Media”, “a mass medium's journalist” has to be connected with a concrete editorial through labor or other contractual relations. Therefore, freelance journalists are not entitled to receiving the required accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Consequently, the freelance journalists suffer regularly from the prosecution for their journalistic activity without the accreditation. Since April 2014, the freelance journalists, who cooperate with foreign media, have been penalized 22 times for violation of Article 22.9 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus to the fines, which totaled more than EUR 7,000.

This kind of prosecution for the dissemination of information in foreign media is a gross violation of the standards of freedom of expression and violation of journalists' rights.

In connection with the said above, the European Federation of Journalists:

·       expresses solidarity with freelance journalists in Belarus and supports the struggle of the Belarusian Association of Journalists for the equality of rights of all journalists in the exercise of their professional activities;

  • calls on the Belarusian authorities to immediately cease pressure on freelance journalists, cooperating with foreign media, and in particular to abandon the practice of bringing them to administrative responsibility;
  • calls on the institutions of the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the European Union to pay attention to violations of freedom of speech in Belarus related to the activities of freelance journalists and to take steps to remedy the situation”.

Adopted unanimously by EFJ AM delegates on 02.06.2015

You can read the original statement in Belarusian here.

Other news section «Society»

Siarhei Viatohin: Being out of the Bologna Process will leave Belarus with no scientific elite
Siarhei Viatohin: Being out of the Bologna Process will leave Belarus with no scientific elite
"To sign the document, and then to try to wiggle out of implementing what was signed", - the expert of the Public Bologna Committee assesses the reforms of higher education.
Experts: Monitoring street music is a very strange and absurd know-how of officials
Experts: Monitoring street music is a very strange and absurd know-how of officials
Bands will be admitted to play in the underground walkways but only in the 12 permitted areas under the control of the police and with the agreed repertoire.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Litvinism carries the germ of separatism
Uladzimir Matskevich: Litvinism carries the germ of separatism
The Russian forces that specialize in informational war believe that it is already possible to start fire of litvinism in Belarus.
Anatoli Shumchanka: The government pushes entrepreneurs to the protests and politics
Anatoli Shumchanka: The government pushes entrepreneurs to the protests and politics
If the officials do not want to listen to the entrepreneurs, "we have to proceed to the plan "B".
Anton Sidarenka: Belarusians are willing to pay for their own movies
Anton Sidarenka: Belarusians are willing to pay for their own movies
"Our movie" project  started in Minsk: a series of movie screenings and discussions about contemporary independent Belarusian movies with their authors.
Uladzimir Dunaeu: So far our country is falling behind everyone
Uladzimir Dunaeu: So far our country is falling behind everyone
The implementation of the Roadmap for higher education enters its critical phase.
Ales Smalianchuk: Holocaust remembrance says a lot about the Belarusians
Ales Smalianchuk: Holocaust remembrance says a lot about the Belarusians
Belarus had Jewish population for a long time, but how did the war affect their relationship with the Belarusians and what image of the Holocaust is imprinted into the memory of the Belarusians?
Viachaslau Pilipuk: It is more efficient to cooperate with the entrepreneurs than to push them away
Viachaslau Pilipuk: It is more efficient to cooperate with the entrepreneurs than to push them away
The working group of the Ministry of Economy will consider the "National project" of the non-governmental organization "Perspective" on January 30.
Sviatlana Matskevich: Freedom can revive the education
Sviatlana Matskevich: Freedom can revive the education
The lack of reforms in education is a threat: Belarus might lose human capital and face a cultural catastrophe.
Valiantsin Stefanovich: Repressions in Belarus did not disappear
Valiantsin Stefanovich: Repressions in Belarus did not disappear
The introduction of “soft” repressions does not imply the process is irreversible.
Ihar Kuzniatsou: A free person behaving like a slave is a syndrome of the 1937th
Ihar Kuzniatsou: A free person behaving like a slave is a syndrome of the 1937th
Minsk declared 2017 the Year of Commemoration in Memory of the victims of Soviet repressions in Belarus.
Tatiana Shchyttsova: Respect the right of every human life to be a surprise for oneself (Photo)
Tatiana Shchyttsova: Respect the right of every human life to be a surprise for oneself (Photo)
How compatible are the development of biotechnology and human dignity, and what will win?
Uladzimir Dunaeu: The Road map for higher education might not be implemented
Uladzimir Dunaeu: The Road map for higher education might not be implemented
It is necessary for the public to raise its voice to mobilize the educational reforms in Belarus.
Experts: Visa-free regime is good news, but no tourists will come without additional measures
Experts: Visa-free regime is good news, but no tourists will come without additional measures
We must have low cost airlines, unique routes, and authentic recreation to attract the glutted western tourists to Belarus.
Nasta Loika: Human rights revolution has already happened
Nasta Loika: Human rights revolution has already happened
What are the similarities and the distinctions between human rights and anarchism and how these concepts coexist in Belarus and in the world?
Dmitry Drozd: Stalinism gains popularity, but decommunisation is inevitable
Dmitry Drozd: Stalinism gains popularity, but decommunisation is inevitable
It is far from easy to find information about repressions in Belarus. However, we can change the future only by knowing the fate of our ancestors.
Tatsiana Vadalazhskaja: Thinking exists only in the actual intellectual effort
Tatsiana Vadalazhskaja: Thinking exists only in the actual intellectual effort
Thinking related issues exist in all areas, at times even unexpected ones.
Ulad Vialichka: Civil society spent 2016 without vim, but this is no reason for dramatization
Ulad Vialichka: Civil society spent 2016 without vim, but this is no reason for dramatization
The whole country is in crisis, including civil society, but it is “not dead - it is alive and solving pressing issues.”
Uladzimir Matskevich: During 2016 Belarus was in a state of chronic smoldering crisis
Uladzimir Matskevich: During 2016 Belarus was in a state of chronic smoldering crisis
According to the philosopher, the crisis like a disease penetrated into all spheres of life in the country.
Arest Bilaskurski: The more channels the better
Arest Bilaskurski: The more channels the better
The future of the Belarusian TV lies in the development of our own local content.
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

Uladzimir Matskevich: Lukashenka does not disrupt Russian plans to annex Belarus

But Lukashenka is afraid for his fate and position - he needs Belarus to be sovereign to fully exercise his power.

Tatiana Vadalazhskaya: We see the hunger for intellectual work

Having summarized the results of the “admission campaign”, the organizers were pleasantly amazed at the number of people who showed interest in the Flying University proposals in the new school season

Siarhei Viatohin: Being out of the Bologna Process will leave Belarus with no scientific elite

"To sign the document, and then to try to wiggle out of implementing what was signed", - the expert of the Public Bologna Committee assesses the reforms of higher education.