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HomeLithuaniaThirty-five journalists imprisoned in Belarus “freed” symbolically in Vilnius

Thirty-five journalists imprisoned in Belarus “freed” symbolically in Vilnius

Journalists from different countries symbolically “freed” from prison 35 colleagues, currently imprisoned in Belarus, during a solidarity event in Vilnius on Friday.

The #freedomforjournalists event was organized on the territory of the former Lukiskes prison on the World Press Freedom Day.

“We decided to commemorate them in the prison to show what they look like and symbolically take out each of those portraits as a symbol of their liberation, at least here, in Vilnius, in a free city, perhaps drawing the attention of the European Union institutions, maybe even the Hague Court one day,” Dainius Radzevicius, chairman of the Lithuanian Union of Journalists, told the BNS on Friday after the event.

Although a similar event took place last year as well, Radzevicius noted he could see that the situation had not changed in a year.

According to the organizers of the campaign, 35 media representatives are currently imprisoned in Belarus.

In Radzevicius’ opinion, this figure often becomes a statistic.

“The figure of 35 people does not reflect the real situation, because the hundreds of journalists and editors who have now left Belarus, they are potential targets. In a sense, they are serving a sentence, but not inside the country, they are in forced exile,” he pointed out.

Andrei Bastunets, chair of the Vilnius-based Belarusian Association of Journalists, said earlier that “Belarusians have been dreaming of press freedom for 30 years, but in reality they have only seen a three-decade war against journalists”.

According to the Belarusian association, there are about 150 its member journalists in Lithuania at present. In total, about 500 journalists have left Belarus for other countries.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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