Journalists are not spared by the growing repression in this country where demonstrations have followed one another for three days against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday.
In Belarus, anti-government protests continue and police repression escalates, with a thousand new arrests overnight Tuesday to Wednesday and live ammunition. An increasingly severe repression which also concerns the journalists present on the spot, whose testimonies multiply on the internet. Whether local or foreign, they feel they are being targeted by the police during protests.
Andrei Vaitovich, Franco-Belarusian journalist, covers events in the country’s capital, Minsk.“A few days ago, a local journalist was wounded by a rubber bullet during a demonstration. It is clear that the police obtained a kind of carte blanche against the demonstrators, but also against the press,” he testifies.
Few Western journalists have been accredited to cover the election. And there are many intimidations, as Andrei Vaitovich says: “Some journalists are arrested when leaving their hotel. Some journalists are arrested at their homes. Fear is omnipresent and every day, we have ten or twenty journalists arrested.”
We have never seen such a wave of repression, such violence against the press and against the mostly peaceful demonstrators.to franceinfo
For several days, the work of journalists was also complicated by very disrupted internet access. Access is now partly restored and new images of the repression are pouring in on social networks.