Turkish authorities target Pride and Kurdish media; Russia’s “crimes against journalists”

Journalists are seen on the ground as riot police forces crack down on an unauthorized Pride march in Istanbul, Turkey, 26 June 2022, BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images

413 crimes against journalists in Ukraine

An investigative report released in late June by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found credible evidence that the journalist Maks Levin and his friend Oleksiy Chernyshov — both killed in Ukraine on 13 March — were executed by Russian troops. RSF also believes that the men may have been interrogated and tortured prior to their deaths.

Further restrictions on the press in Russia

In Russia, where criticism of the invasion is suppressed — and where referring to Russia’s offensive as an invasion or war could see you prosecuted — polls show that the majority support the direction that President Putin’s government is taking on Ukraine.

Spurious charges and harsh sentencing in Belarus

The Belarusian Association of Journalists continues to record attacks on the independent press carried out by the authorities. In June, it published its 2022 list of jailed journalists, of which there were 29 (including ten women journalists). According to the organisation’s report, from the start of the year until 10 June, there were 19 detentions of members of the press and 24 property searches.

  • Philosopher and Belsat TV host Uladzimir Matskevich, sentenced to five years in prison at a closed trial on charges of creating an extremist group, insulting the president and public order offences. He had been in detention since August 2021.
  • RFE/RL Freelancer Andrey Kuznechyk, sentenced to six years in prison on charges of creating an extremist group.
  • Novy Chas chief editor Aksana Kolb, sentenced to 2.5 years’ imprisonment in an open correctional facility after being convicted of public order offences.
  • Journalist Iryna Slaunikava, who went on trial on charges of leading an extremist group and organising activities that disrupt the social order; she faces seven years in prison if convicted.
  • Journalists and activists Andrei Aliaksandrau, Iryna Zlobina, Dzmitry Navazhylau and Iryna Leushyna, who went on trial behind closed doors in the BelaPAN news agency case; they face several spurious charges ranging from tax evasion to treason.

Authorities target Pride and Kurdish media in Turkey

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, wrote to Turkey ‘s Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice this month, calling for an end to the stigmatisation of LGBTQI+ people and for their freedoms of assembly, association and expression to be upheld.

Erosion of rights in the UK

In the UK, the Home Secretary approved the extradition to the US of publisher Julian Assange, who faces 175 years in prison on charges linked to Wikileaks’ publication of information in the public interest. Assange will appeal the decision.

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IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org

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IFEX

IFEX

IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org