On February 18, two Belarusian journalists of Belsat, Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova, were jailed for two years for streaming from a protest rally. The Belarusian authorities accuse them of organizing mass riots on November 15, 2020 in the "Square of Changes" in Minsk.
Journalists fighting for their sovereign right to freedom of speech and democracy in Belarus have been sentenced to two years in prison.
We consider this an attack by the Belarusian authorities on freedom of journalism and political repression of freedom of speech.
According to the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2020 alone, there were 480 cases of journalists being detained. In 2021, about twenty cases of attacks and detentions of media representatives have already been recorded.
We emphasize that free media are the key to the development of a democratic state; they provide people with information that influences the helps them form opinions, including political ones.
We note that journalistic activity in Belarus, as in any other country, must be free, pluralistic and independent. It is especially urgent in the times of current protests of Belarusian citizens against the non-democratic regime of the Belarusian authorities.
Due to the professional solidarity with our Belarusian colleagues, we, Ukrainian journalists and other women in media:
- condemn the suppression of journalism in Belarus;
- condemn the pressure on the media covering the protests;
- demand an end to all political repression against journalists;
- demand the free functioning of the Belarusian media;
- demand the immediate release of Belsat journalists Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova.
Ukrainian women journalists and media representatives:
- Yelyzaveta Kuzmenko, Chair of NGO Association Women in Media
- Iryna Zemlyana, media expert of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI)
- Viktoria Yermolayeva, journalist, editor of the Povaha website
- Anastasia Bahalika, journalist of the Hromadske Radio
- Natalka Sirobab, journalist of "Kolo" publication (Poltava)
- Kateryna Pieshko, Communications Specialist (Kyiv)
- Yana Mashkova, media analyst at the Institute of Mass Information
- Kateryna Maiboroda, editor of the social media "Nenachasi"
- Anastasia Stanko, journalist, editor of the united publishing Hromadske.tv
- Oksana Khmeliovska, Editor-in-Chief of the Chytomo Cultural and Publishing Project
- Iryna Andreytsiv, editor of LIGA.Life on LIGA.net
- Iryna Siedova, journalist, researcher of Crimea Human Rights Group
- Olena Hrazhdan, journalist of Ukrainian Capital
- Zoya Krasovska, media researcher
- Olena Churanova, fact checker of the StopFake.org project, teacher of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy School of Journalism
- Anastasia Diachenko-Roslyk, editor-in-chief of the entertainment department of the morning show on ICTV
- Maryna Synhaivska, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform
- Diana Dutsyk, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Media and Communication
- Svitlana Ostapa, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Media Detector, Chair of the Public Broadcasting Supervisory Board of Ukraine
- Oksana Romaniuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information, Member of the Supervisory Board of Public Broadcasting of Ukraine
- Valeria Pechenyk, journalist, editor; correspondent of Belsat TV channel in Lviv
- Kateryna Kader, journalist, manager of the "Ask a Woman" database on the “Povaha" website.
- Hanna Kurtsanovska, journalist of the online magazine Svoi.City
- Olena Dub, journalist, media coach
- Marichka Varennikova, freelance producer / reporter for foreign media in Ukraine, including the New York Times
- Olha Zhuk, Media Detector journalist
- Tetyana Troshchynska, Editor-in-Chief of Hromadske Radio
- Irynka Hromotska, photojournalist
- Oleksandra Horchynska, journalist of the NV website
- Nina Kuriata, media coach, consultant
- Liudmyla Tiahnyriadno, journalist, editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Radio's Internet projects
- Oksana Rasukova, journalist of LB.ua
- Natalia Kurdiukova, co-founder of the Nakipelo media group (nakipelo.ua)
- Viktoria Honcharenko, media researcher, communications specialist, freelance journalist
- Kateryna Dubovska, head of special projects at OBOZREVATEL
- Natalia Lyhachova, head of the NGO and editor-in-chief of the Media Detector portal
- Maria Kravchenko, Communications Manager of Lviv Media Forum
- Halyna Petrenko, Director of the Media Detector NGO
- Kamila Hrabchuk, correspondent, Priamyi TV channel
- Anna Denysenko, videographer
- Natalia Kindrativ, media consultant, editor-in-chief of Drohobych.City
- Liudmyla Pankratova, CEO of CSO Regional Press Development Institute
- Aliona Romaniuk, editor-in-chief of the information campaign "On the other side of the news"
- Yuliana Lozova, journalist
- Olha Sytnik, editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda. Life.
- Tetyana Kurmanova, journalist, director of PGO TRK Hromadske Radio
- Natalia Bushkovska, medical journalist, freelance journalist
- Larysa Denysenko, journalist, human rights activist, member of the Ukrainian PEN
- Oksana Maksymeniuk, media lawyer with CSO Regional Press Development Institute
- Luda Kornievych, journalist of the “Fakty" program, ICTV
- Yuliana Skibitska, deputy editor-in-chief of Zaborona
- Yulia Hrytsenko, media expert, program manager
- Valentyna Troian, journalist of the Hromadske Radio
- Anastasiya Gudima, head of the Coordination center for broadcasting of National Minorities JSC “UA:PBC”
- Kryvenko Olena, creative producer of the Coordination center for broadcasting of National Minorities JSC “UA:PBC”