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MEP Jaromir Stetina: Do Not Believe Dictators!

MEP Jaromir Stetina: Do Not Believe Dictators!

Free media and independent journalists are Lukashenka's sworn enemies.

Czech MP Jaromir Stetina's speech, delivered on the eve of the vote on the resolution On Deterioration Of Media Freedom In Belarus, Notably The Case Of Charter-97 at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 4. Social activist Denis Kazakevich quotes the MEP's words:

"Free media and independent journalists are Lukashenka's sworn enemies. There is an ongoing process of intimidation of journalists from independent media. The information site Charter-97 has been blocked for almost a year now. In 2010, its founder was killed. The Charter was pushed out of Belarus and has been working from Poland since 2011. Blocking has undermined the site economically. In April of this year, a wave of arrests and seizures of property took place in several editorial offices. Journalists are charged with criminal cases and face imprisonment. More than a hundred arrests of journalists took place last year.

Almost two years ago, we lifted the restrictive measures against Belarus, and the Belarusian side benefits from European money. Therefore, I urge our cooperation to be based on respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Belarusian citizens. Lukashenko shows us that instead of democratization, he tightens the screws and persecutes those who are trying to freely inform their compatriots about the events taking place in the country. Do not believe dictators!

The Charter-97 website originated on the basis of the Belarusian Charter-97 movement, inspired by the Czechoslovak Charter-77. In addition to being Czech, there is another reason why I feel obliged to fight against human rights violations in Belarus: freedom is indivisible. Freedom of Belarus is our freedom," – the MEP said.

We remind, that on October 4, the European Parliament adopted a resolution On Deterioration Of Media Freedom In Belarus, Notably The Case Of Charter-97.

The resolution mainly discussed the recent scandalous amendments to the Belarusian law on mass media, blocking of the Charter-97 website, pressure on journalists of the Balsat TV channel and the BelTA Case. Political prisoners were also mentioned, as well as convicted leaders of the REP Trade Union Hennadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik.

It will be recalled that on September 3 editor-in-chief of Charter-97 Natallia Radzina announced the threat to informational resource cause by drastic reduction in financing and called readers for solidarity. Ways to support the website:



Bank's name: Bank Millennium S.A.

Address: ul. Stanislawa Zaryna, 2A, 02-593, Warszawa

IBAN: PL 97 1160 2202 0000 0002 1671 1123


Name of the account holder: Fundacja “KARTA ‘97”

Purpose/title of payment: Donation for statuary aims

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