The United States condemns the Belarusian authorities’ actions targeting local and foreign journalists. No members of the media should be threatened, physically abused, arrested, or imprisoned by anyone for any reason simply for doing their jobs as journalists. A strong independent media and the free exchange of, and access to, information are essential for rule of law to take root in any society.
The United States is very concerned about the precarious status of Belarusian independent media, the arbitrary arrests of journalists over the past several months, and the Belarusian authorities’ filing of criminal charges against journalists. We also remain disturbed by the threat of cancellation of local outlets’ official media status, as well as the outright cancellation of accreditation and the lengthy delay of re-accreditation of journalists working for foreign media outlets.
We urge the Belarusian authorities to protect and uphold fundamental freedoms throughout Belarus, especially freedoms of assembly, speech, and the press. The Belarusian people deserve to have their rights protected and voices heard, and independent media is an indispensable platform for the voices of all Belarusians. There can be no normalization of relations with a regime that brutally represses its own people.