To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government (a) is taking and (b) plans to take support journalists in Belarus who have experienced (i) physical violence and (ii) threats of imprisonment for their media work.
16 September 2021
The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the continuing attacks on media freedom in Belarus. There have been more than 700 reported incidents of persecution of media figures in Belarus since the start of last year's election campaign. The Government has repeatedly called on Belarus to release journalists who have been arbitrarily detained, and to hold to account those responsible for attacks on journalists. The recent blocking of news websites, and the liquidation of key non-state media organisations, highlight the lengths the regime will go to in order to silence critical voices. We have increased financial support to civil society and independent media organisations in Belarus. By the end of this financial year, our programme funding will have almost tripled compared to 2019/pre-crisis levels, to £4.5 million by March 2022.