Repression made autonomous media almost nonexistent: Belsat journalist

The authorities continue the policy of repression of civil society, to the point that autonomous media in Belarus is almost nonexistent as it stands, said Zmicier Mickiewicz, a journalist of the Minsk-independent Belsat TV on the anniversary of the detention of two Belsat journalists Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova, in an interview with “Eastern Express.”

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Click here to watch the full interview

In the opinion of Zmicier Mickiewicz, there is no sign of repression ceasing, as Lukashenka does not look like he will be holding back anytime soon.

Meanwhile, two Belsat journalists who were arrested while covering the demonstrations against the Lukashenka regime in Belarus, Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova remain resilient despite harsh treatment and facing severe punishment for disobedience. Mr Mickiewicz pointed out that they were not just sitting in the cell, as in belarusian jail, prisoners have to work physically, often performing tasks to the benefit of the regime, for example, sewing uniforms.

In spite of the fact that many NGOs called on Minsk to release the journalists deemed as “political prisoners”, none of the appeals for a pardon for Ms Andreyeva and Ms Chultsova have succeeded. Zmicier Mickiewicz said that the reason for such a reaction is that Belarus truly believes that the two women in question are criminals who have tried to destabilise the state.

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The attitude of Minsk towards the detained journalists is marked with a will to scare society and those who would even think of demonstrating views different from the authorities. In the state media, people like Ms Andreyeva and Ms Chultsova are pictured as traitors and enemies of Belarus.

In the opinion of Mr Mickiewicz, the chances for both journalists being released in the near future are extremely low, as Minsk has long been notorious for unfair trials against its dissidents. However, he believes that the tables could be turned, as the rage of Lukashenka in reaction to more and more sanctions being imposed on his regime is clearly visible.

Click here to watch the full episode of Eastern Express

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