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Ukrainian women journalists support convicted colleagues from Belsat – Statement

18.02.2021, 19:43

On February 18, two Belsat TV journalists, Kateryna Bakhvalova (Andreeva) and Daria Chultsova, were jailed for two years for reporting live from a protest rally. The Belarusian authorities accuse them of organizing mass riots on November 15, 2020 on the "Square of Change" in Minsk.

Journalists fighting for their sovereign right to freedom of speech and democracy in Belarus have been sentenced to two years in prison.

We consider this onslaught the Belarusian authorities made on freedom of journalism and political repression of freedom of speech.

According to the Independent Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2020 alone, 480 cases of detention of journalists were recorded in Belarus. In 2021, about two dozen cases of assault and detention of media representatives have already been recorded.

We emphasize that free media are the key to the evolution of democrcy, providing people with information that influences the process of forming opinions and viewpoints, as well as the exercise of political choices.

Please note that journalism in Belarus, as in any other country, should be free, pluralistic and independent. Especially at the time of the current protests of Belarusian women and men against the non-democratic regime.

We, women journalists and media professionals in Ukraine, based on professional solidarity with our Belarusian colleagues:

-condemn the suppression of freedom of journalism in Belarus;

-speak against pressure on mass media covering the protests;

-demand to stop all political repression against journalists;

-we demand the free functioning of the Belarusian media;

-we demand an immediate release of Belsat journalists Kateryna Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova.

Women journalists and media women in Ukraine:

  1. Kuzmenko Elizaveta, Chairman of the Association of Women in the Media
  2. Iryna Zemlyana, media expert at the Institute of Mass Information (IMI)
  3. Victoria Yermolaeva, journalist, editor of the site "Respect"
  4. Anastasia Bagalika, editor and host of Hromadske Radio
  5. Natalka Sirobab, journalist of "Kolo" publication (Poltava)
  6. Kateryna Peshko, Communications Specialist (Kyiv)
  7. Yana Mashkova, media analyst at the Institute of Mass Information
  8. Kateryna Mayboroda, editor of the social media "Nenachasi"
  9. Anastasia Stanko, journalist, editor of the joint edition of "Hromadske.tv"
  10. Oksana Khmelovska, Editor-in-Chief of the Chitomo Cultural and Publishing Project
  11. Iryna Andreytsiv, editor of LIGA.Life on LIGA.net
  12. Iryna Sedova, journalist, researcher of the Crimean human rights group
  13. Hrazhdan Olena, journalist of “Ukrainian Capital”
  14. Zoya Krasovska, media researcher
  15. Olena Churanova, fact checker of the StopFake.org project, teacher of the Mohyla School of Journalism
  16. Anastasia Dyachenko-Roslyk, editor-in-chief of the entertainment department of the morning show on ICTV
  17. Maryna Singaivska, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform
  18. Diana Dutsyk, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Media and Communication
  19. Svitlana Ostapa, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Detector Media”, Chairman of the Public Broadcasting Supervisory Board of Ukraine
  20. Oksana Romanyuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information, Member of the Supervisory Board of Public Broadcasting of Ukraine
  21. Valeria Pechenyk, journalist, editor; correspondent of Belsat TV channel in Lviv
  22. Kateryna Kader, journalist, manager of the "Ask a Woman" database on the "Respect" website
  23. Anna Kurtsanovska, journalist of the online magazine Svoi.City
  24. Olena Dub, journalist, media coach
  25. Marichka Varennikova, freelance producer / reporter for foreign media in Ukraine, including the New York Times daily
  26. Olga Zhuk, Media Detector journalist
  27. Tetyana Troshchynska, Editor-in-Chief of Hromadske Radio
  28. Irynka Hromotska, photojournalist
  29. Oleksandra Horchynska, journalist of the NV website
  30. Nina Kuryata, media coach, consultant
  31. Lyudmyla Tyahnyryadno, journalist, editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Radio's Internet projects
  32. Oksana Rasulova, journalist of LB.ua.
  33. Natalia Kurdyukova, co-founder of the Nakipilo media group (nakipelo.ua)
  34. Victoria Goncharenko, media researcher, communicator, freelance journalist
  35. Kateryna Dubovska, head of special projects at OBOZREVATEL
  36. Ligachova Natalia, head of the NGO and editor-in-chief of the “Detector Media” portal
  37. Maria Kravchenko, Communications Manager of Lviv Media Forum
  38. Halyna Petrenko, Director of the “Detector Media” NGO 
  39. Kamila Grabchuk, correspondent, Pryamyy TV channel
  40. Denisenko Anna, videographer
  41. Kindrativ Natalia, media consultant, editor-in-chief of ”Drohobych.City”
  42. Lyudmila Pankratova, Executive Director of the NGO Institute for Regional Press Development
  43. Romanyuk Alyona, editor-in-chief of the information campaign "On the other side of the news"
  44. Yuliana Lozova, journalist
  45. Olga Sytnik, editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Pravda. Life"
  46. Tetyana Kurmanova, journalist, director of PGO TRK Hromadske Radio
  47. Natalia Bushkovska, medical journalist, freelance journalist
  48. Larysa Denysenko, journalist, human rights activist, member of the Ukrainian PEN
  49. Oksana Maksymenyuk, media lawyer of the NGO Institute for Regional Press Development
  50. Luda Kornievich, journalist of the "Facts" program, ICTV
  51. Yuliana Skibitska, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the “Zaborona”
  52. Yulia Hrytsenko, media expert, program manager
  53. Valentina Troyan, journalist of the Public Radio
  54. Oksana Pavlenko, co-founder and editor of The Devochki online magazine
  55. Victoria Kobylyatska, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the platform "Women are 50% of Ukraine's success"
  56. Anastasia Horpinchenko, journalist and host of the Hromadske Radio, author of the website "Respect"
  57. Lina Kushch, First Secretary of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine
  58. Mila Moroz, journalist of the Hromadske Radio
  59. Zoya Kazanzhi, journalist, media coach
  60. Tetyana Pechonchyk, head of the ZMINA Human Rights Center
  61. Anastasia Hudyma, Head of the National Minority Broadcasting Coordination Center of the National Public Television and Radio Company
  62. Olena Kryvenko, Creative Producer of the National Minority Broadcasting Coordination Center of the National Public Television and Radio Company
  63. Khrystyna Morozova, SMM Communicator of the "Respect" Campaign, Radio "Culture"
  64. Marina Kuraptseva, independent journalist
  65. Iryna Sampan, journalist, host of Public Radio, author of the online publication Censor.NET.

As IMI reported, on February 18, the Frunzensky District Court of Minsk sentenced two journalists of Belsat TV channel Kateryna Andreeva and Daryna Chultseva to two years in a maximum security penal colony.

Belsat journalists Kateryna Andreeva and Daryna Chultseva were detained on November 15, 2020 in Minsk in an apartment on the 14th floor of a building on “Square od Change”. From this apartment the journalists reported live clash of security officers and activists defending the national memorial to the perished Roman Bondarenko.

On November 20, 2020, Andreeva was charged under Article 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code ("Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order").

Kateryna Andreeva and camerawoman Daryna Chultseva face up to three years in prison on charges of organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order.

On February 9, the trial of Belsat journalists Kateryna Andreeva and Daryna Chultseva, who are charged under Part 1 of Art. 342 of the Criminal Code ("Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order").

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