CIVIL hosted a panel discussion titled “Behind the Smoke Screen: Belarussian Media in Lukashenko’s Grip”, Friday, August 26, starting at 2.30 pm. The organization is announcing exclusive guest appearance by Belarusian journalists Kseniya Halubovich and Alena Naskovich, as well as by media expert Dr. Wolfgang Ressmann from Germany. Working language of the event was English.
“The victory in Ukraine will bring freedom to Belarus, too” – agree all three participants in the panel.
Two years have passed since the mass protests in Belarus, following the elections in which Aleksandr Lukashenko announced victory, despite reports of serious election manipulations. Lukashenko’s regime suppressed the protests, with arrests and court-police persecution of a large number of intellectuals, journalists and activists.
Belarus ceded its own territory to Russia for it to carry out its brutal aggression against Ukraine. Lukashenko allowed Russia full access to military and air bases to conduct massive military operations against a neighboring, independent and sovereign state. Army installations of Belarus are used for launching missiles from the soil of Belarus against Ukraine. Russian soldiers also use the bases in Belarus and cross the state border from there in the invasion against Ukraine.
During the entire period of Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule, the media were under complete control, whereas independent media were closed, and journalists persecuted. That situation only tightened after Russia’s full invasion against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Belarusian journalists are being arrested, persecuted, harassed, and even killed by Lukashenko’s regime.
What is the situation like and what are the perspectives for democracy and media freedom in Belarus? How does Lukashenko’s propaganda machinery function? What is the role of the international community? These and other questions were discussed at this panel.
Camera: Dehran Muratov
Editing/Live Streaming: Arian Mehmeti