General / 25.03.2021

UJF: Finland must pressure Belarus to end persecution of journalists

The Union of Journalists in Finland has appealed to the Finnish government to exert pressure on Belarus to release imprisoned journalists and withdraw criminal charges against journalists. The union is also concerned about cases of persecution, torture and ill-treatment taking place in Belarus. The UJF has sent the appeal to Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, together with 50 European journalists organisations. Today, 25 March, is Freedom Day in Belarus, when the opposition annually gathers in large numbers to honour the proclamation of the Belarusian People's Republic in 1918. There are over 250 political prisoners in the country, including 12 journalists. Since the fraudulent presidential elections of 9 August 2020, more than 30,000 people, among them 480 journalists, have been detained, with many of them subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Over 1,000 people have been targeted by criminal prosecution. The leaders of European journalists’ unions appeal to the governments of the countries of Europe to demand that the government of Belarus immediately release of the 12 imprisoned journalists and the withdrawal of administrative and criminal proceedings against Belarusian journalists. The leaders of the journalists’ unions appeal to governments to work actively with the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union, so that the international community intensifies pressure and takes action in the face of constant violations of human rights and press freedom in Belarus.   This appeal has the support of 50 European journalists’ unions Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Andrei Bastunets, President of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Belarus Eike-Clemens Kullmann, President of the Journalistengewerkschaft in der GPA-djp (GPA-djp), Austria Mushfig Alasgarli, Chairman of the Journalist's Trade Union of Azerbaijan (JUHI), Azerbaijan Martine Simonis, General Secretary of the Association des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP) and National Secretary of the Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB), Belgium Pol Deltour, National Secretary of the Belgische / Vlaamse Vereniging van Journalisten (VVJ/AVBB), Belgium Borka Rudić, Secretary General of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalists Association (BHJA), Bosnia and Herzegovina Maja Sever, President of the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ), Croatia Hrvoje Zovko, President of the Croatia Journalists’ Association (CJA), Croatia George Frangos, President of the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ), Cyprus Çağdaş Öğüç, Secretary of International Relations of Basın-Sen, Cyprus Adam Černý, President of the Syndicate of Journalists of Czech Republic, Czechia Tine Johansen, President of the Danish Union of Journalists (DJ), Denmark Helle Tiikmaa, President of the Estonian Union of Journalists (EAL), Estonia Hanne Aho, President of the Union of Journalists in Finland, Finland Emmanuel Poupard, Premier Secrétaire général du Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), France Emmanuel Vire, General Secretary of Syndicat national de journalistes CGT (SNJ-CGT), France Frank Überall, President of the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV), Germany Monique Hofmann, Bundesgeschäftsführerin, Deutsche Journalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union (dju) in ver.di, Germany Maria Antoniadou, President of the Journalists Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), Greece Elena Rizeakou, President of the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists’ Union (PFJU), Greece Nikolaos Karras, President of the Journalists Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH), Greece Themistoklis Beredimas, President of the Periodical and Electronic Press Union (P.E.P.U), Greece László M. Lengyel, Executive Chairman of the Hungarian Press Union (HPU), Hungary Raffaele Lorusso, General Secretary of the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI), Italy Anna Del Freo, Deputy General Secretary of the FNSI, Italy Dainius Radzevičius, President of the Lithuanian Journalists’ Union (LŽS), Lithuania Ines Kurschat, President of the Association Luxembourgeoise des Journalistes Professionnels (ALJP), Luxembourg Nigel Mifsud, General Secretary of the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM), Malta Renske Heddema, President of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ), The Netherlands Dag Idar Tryggestad, President of the Norwegian Union of Journalists, Norway Krzysztof Skowroński, President of the Polish Association of Journalists (SDP), Poland Seweryn Blumsztajn, President of the Society of Journalists, Poland Sofia Branco, President of Sindicato dos Jornalistas (SJ), Portugal Leonard Octavian Pădureț, President of the Federation Culture & Mass-Media FAIR-MediaSind, Romania Cristinel Godinac, President of the Romanian Trade Union of Journalists MediaSind, Romania Vladimir Radomirović, President of the Journalists' Association of Serbia (JAS-UNS), Serbia Zeljko Bodrozic, President of the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (IJAS-NUNS), Serbia Dragana Čabarkapa, President of the Journalist Union of Serbia (Sinos), Serbia Daniel Modrovsky, President of Slovensky Syndikat Novinarov (SSN), Slovakia Petra Lesjak Tušek, President of  the Slovene Association of Journalists (DNS), Slovenia Nemesio Rodríguez, President of the Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de España (FAPE), Spain Marta Barcenilla Escaño, Institutional Secretary of the Federal Executive Committee of FSC-CCOO, Spain Mariano Rivero Puche, Coordinator of AgP-UGT (FeSMC-UGT), Spain Ulrika Hyllert, President of the Swedish Journalists’ Union (SJ), Sweden Dr. Franca Siegfried, President of impressum, Swiss Journalists’ Federatuion, Switzerland Stephanie Vonarburg, Vice-President of syndicom, Switzerland Mustafa Kuleli, General Secretary of Turkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS), Turkey Yusuf Kanli, Vice-Chairman of Gazeteciler Cemiyeti Dernegi (GCD), Turkey Özge Yurttaş, General Secretary of DİSK Basın İş, Turkey Sergiy Tomilenko, President of the  National Union of journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), Ukraine Serhiy Shturkhetskyy, Chairman of the Independent Media Trade-Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), Ukraine Michelle Stanistreet, National Union of Journalists General Secretary (NUJ), United Kingdom  

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