The Belarusian Association of Journalists Is Recognized as an “Extremist Formation”

The authorities have recognized the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) as an “extremist formation”. The corresponding decision was made by the KGB on February 28.

At the moment, 32 media employees are in custody. The Belarusian Association of Journalists is a voluntary, non–governmental, non-partisan association of citizens who are engaged in professional journalism or contribute to its development. Since 1998, the BAJ has been constantly monitoring violations of freedom of expression and media rights.

Deputy chairman of the BAJ lawyer Oleg Ageev states that the decision of the authorities to recognize the Association as an “extremist formation” is a politically motivated persecution related to the peaceful exercise by persons of their rights and freedoms.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that those who peacefully exercise their rights are recognized as an ‘extremist formation’. We see that the Belarusian courts have already developed a practice and it is approximately clear how the system qualifies interaction with ‘extremist formations’ for persons that stay in Belarus.”

The Belarusian Association of Journalists is the first human rights organization to receive the status of an “extremist formation”.
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