Belarusian authorities, grant accreditation to international journalists and allow entry

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Since May 2020, international journalists cannot obtain accreditation in Belarus to cover important political events in the country.

Our film crew, and about twenty other international journalists, were detained upon entering the country without explanation. Our documents were taken away and we were being kept in a remote area on the territory of Minsk airport, without opportunity to purchase food. Thanks to the air carriers we managed to get some food after 6 hours of waiting for it. We were not even allowed into the transit hall to wait for the return flight, and we were taken to the plane ladder under a reinforced escort like criminals.

Dozens of journalists who managed to get to Belarus were detained and subjected to violence by law enforcement agencies. Employees of the state-owned Belteleradiocompany, who demanded the right to report the news honestly and impartially, were fired, and their strikes were suppressed.

This situation violates all ethical norms regarding freedom of speech and freedom of the press, harms the country's image, and also violates the right of people to receive information.

We express our solidarity towards our fellow journalists in Belarus. All of us have not violated any immigration law or any law in general. We just wanted to fulfil our journalistic duty.

We demand from the leadership of Belarus to resume issuing accreditations for international journalists, so we can continue reporting on the important events happening there. We also ask not to create obstacles for journalistic activities for us and our Belarusian colleagues.

Maria Abramovich - freelance journalist, Netherlands

Roman Staropopov - journalist Estonia

Jelle Brandt Corstius - Journalist, Netherlands

Eric Tikan - journalist, Estonia

The letter was also signed by:
Corry Hancké - journalist De Standaard, Belgium Bianca Ferrari - Journalist, Vice, the Netherlands
Jacinta Isabel Molina - Journalist, CNN, Chile
Ronit Borpujari - Freelance journalist, Germany
Denis Goncharenko - Journalist, Belsat TV        
Ales Silic - Journalist Belsat TV, Belarus 
Umer Ali - Journalist, Deutsche Welle, Germany 
Sonya Groysman - Journalist, Proekt media, Russia 
Evgeny Makaria - Special projects manager,, Russia 
Farid Sabri - Denmark correspondent, HumNews, Pakistan 
Sandro Ruotolo - Freelance journalist, Italy 
Paolo Borrometi - Journalist, Agi, Italy 
Articolo 21 Association for Freedom of Press, Italy
Article 19, UK