09.09.20

Statement from Freedom of the Press Caucus Co-Chairs Schiff and Chabot Condemning Press Restrictions in Belarus Amid Post-Election Protests

Prime Minister Lukashenko revokes press credentials of 17 journalists on August 29

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Freedom of the Press Caucus, released the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned by the recent decision of Belarusian authorities to strip the accreditations of journalists covering widespread protests in Belarus in response to disputed election results.

“Press credentials are necessary for journalists to provide accurate, impartial information to the public. Halting the flow of information to the people of Belarus is yet another blow against press freedom by a regime that has, in recent weeks, shut down internet access, blocked news websites, and harassed, arrested, and deported journalists. These bald-faced efforts to stifle information must not be ignored. We call on Belarusian authorities to allow journalists to resume their reporting without delay.”

Background:

Journalists whose credentials were cancelled are employees of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), a private news organization supported by the U.S. Congress, the BBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Germany’s ARD television, Deutsche Welle, and Radio France. Two Russian citizens working for the Associated Press were also deported. Last week, authorities detained approximately fifty members of the press, including members of Belarusian press outlets.

###