Human rights: Belarus journalists win World Press Freedom Prize

The BAJ was shaped in 1995 as a non-governmental affiliation of media staff with the target of selling freedom of expression and indepenent journalism in Belarus.

It brings collectively over 1,300 related journalists, and is a member of the Worldwide Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

Crackdown and violations

Because the disputed presidential election in Belarus in August 2020, which drew thousands and thousands onto the streets in protest throughout the ensuing months, primary human rights have been in the crosshairs.

In March this yr, the UN human rights workplace produced a Human Rights Council-mandated report on the scenario within the European nation, which mentioned the Authorities’s persevering with crackdown had violated the rights of lots of of 1000’s.

“The examination not solely lays naked the violations inflicted on individuals making an attempt to train their basic human rights, however highlights the lack of victims to entry justice”, mentioned UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet.


In August 2021, following a police raid on the workplace of the BAJ, the Supreme Courtroom of Belarus ordered the dissolution of the group, on the request of the nation’s Ministry of Justice.

“By awarding the prize to the BAJ, we are standing by all journalists around the globe who criticize, oppose and expose authoritarian politicians and regimes, by transmitting truthful info and selling freedom of expression”, mentioned Alfred Lela, Chair of the Prize‘s worldwide jury, and founder and director of an Albanian media group.

“At present we salute and reward them; we discover a solution to say: we’re with you, and we worth your braveness”.

The top of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, famous that for 25 years, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Prize “has been calling the world’s consideration to the bravery of journalists around the globe who sacrifice a lot within the pursuit of reality and accountability.

As soon as once more, we’re impressed by their instance and reminded of the significance of making certain the suitable of journalists in every single place to report freely and safely” 

Historical past of braveness

The $25,000 Prize acknowledges excellent contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom particularly within the face of hazard. It’s named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist who was assassinated in entrance of the workplaces of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia, on 17 December 1986.

It’s funded by the Guillermo Cano Isaza Basis (Colombia), the Helsingin Sanomat Basis (Finland), the Namibia Media Belief, Democracy & Media Basis Stichting Democratie & Media (The Netherlands), and the Thomson Reuters Basis.

The 2022 World Press Freedom Day International Convention will happen from 2 to five Might beneath the theme Journalism beneath Digital Siege.

The Convention will focus on the affect of the digital period on freedom of expression, the security of journalists, entry to info, and privateness.


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