Independent websites blocked
- Open the two blocked news websites in Belarus, NHC demands.
- Belarusian authorities must immediately provide access to the independent websites, urges Bjørn Engesland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
With two important websites censored, there are almost no more reliable news sources about what’s going on in the country. Belarusian Partisan has been blocked since December last year and Charter 97 since January for people in Belarus.
Internet and social media are important sources for news since Belarus lacks independent TV and radio stations - and have only a few newspapers.
- The recent blocking is a sign for shrinking of the already tiny space of the freedom for expression in Belarus, claims Engesland.
President Alexandr Lukashenka has ruled the country since 1994. Critical voices, including journalists and human rights activists are regularly arrested, as well as the repressive measures taken against oppositional politicians.
Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the pressure against Belarusian authorities has been loosened.
- European leaders must stop wriggling from side to side and demand democratic reforms and protection of human rights, says Engesland.