Interesting news from Human Right Watch:
Belarusian authorities have carried out concerted attacks on media freedom over the past two years that directly affect the climate in which news media will cover the country before, during, and after the upcoming European Games, Human Rights Watch said today. The European Olympic Committees (EOC) should ensure that all journalists, foreign and local, covering the 2019 European Games, from June 21-30, in Belarus, can operate free from harassment.
In the past two years, Belarusian authorities have filed a record number of criminal charges against journalists and bloggers, carried out groundless searches of the editorial offices of several news organizations, introduced tighter state control of the internet, and expanded grounds for prosecuting speech. On May 8, in response to concerns about press freedom raised by Human Rights Watch and other groups, the EOC told Human Rights Watch that it would appoint a representative to monitor media freedom during the games.
“It’s good news that the EOC has committed to dealing with interference with press freedoms, but it needs to follow up with effective action,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s disturbing that journalists covering the games will need protection from Belarusian authorities’ harassment.”
See the full story here.