March 22, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders and Belarusian Association of Journalists condemn lack of opposition access to media News News News May 28, 2021 Find out more News June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts The 19 March presidential election was held in very dubious conditions, with opposition access to the media tightly controlled by the regime. Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalists accuse the government of gagging the press to ensure President Lukashenko’s re-election by more than 80 % of the vote.read in Russian Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown читайте на русском Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) today condemned the Belarusian government’s refusal to allow opposition candidates equal access to the country’s media during the recent election campaign which saw President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected by over 80% of the vote in very tense circumstances.They accused the authorities of “very serious attacks on press freedom during the entire campaign.” They noted that the press was almost entirely controlled by the president and simply relayed government propaganda, which Lukashenko had said was its proper role. The two organisations accused the authorities of snuffing out freedom of expression during the election and muzzling the press to ensure Lukashenko’s victory. They called on the international community to urgently press the Belarusian government to punish these actions and to promote media diversity in Belarus.Press freedom violations during the campaign and the actual vote (see our report: “Institutionalised harassment of the news media” – 16 March 2006, http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=16775)- The authorities have systematically hounded the independent media for nearly two years. Only two weeklies, BelGazeta and Belorusy i Rynok, have been allowed to get printed and freely distributed in Belarus and they only have a small circulation. The majority of other papers have been forced underground. – During the campaign, two papers harassed by the regime tried to publish manifestos of opposition presidential candidates. The authorities seized 250,000 copies on 3 March of an issue of the independent paper Narodnaya Volya (already banned from sale and distribution) devoted to candidate Alexander Kazulin. On 17 March, two days before the election, the opposition paper Tovarishch, which had disappeared from circulation in recent months, came out with a special print-run of 200,000 about the manifesto of candidate Alexander Milinkevich. Police immediately seized all the copies. – The largely state-controlled press echoes the opinions of President Lukashenko. A special issue of the president’s paper, Sovietskaya Biélorussia, printed more than 800,000 copies of an issue on 15 March exclusively about Lukashenko’s manifesto.- The president dominates the country’s entirely state-run TV stations, appearing there nearly every day since the start of the campaign. He made a long speech of nearly three hours on 2 March at the opening of a special session of an All-Belarusian People’s Congress (congress of government workers). The biggest TV station, BT, broadcast the whole speech, which was about the government’s economic achievements and Lukashenko’s development plans for the next five years. It re-broadcast half the speech in news programmes that evening and the next day. – The BAJ says the news programme Nashi Novosti, on the government TV station ONT, gave 89.6% of its air time over to presidential election candidates between 21 February and 4 March. But candidates Milinkevich and Sergei Gaidukevich were not mentioned at all and Kazulin got just 0.4% of the air time. BT gave 58% of its coverage to Lukashenko and only 0.1% to Kazulin and 0.2% to Milinkevich. The elections commission only stipulated brief coverage for all the candidates, of two half-hour programmes each during the entire campaign.- As well as being excluded from the media, the opposition was also denigrated by the authorities. A report by BT on 20 March about a meeting of opposition supporters disputing the official results called the protesters “queers” and said organisers had handed out beer to them.- Access to several opposition websites was blocked on election day (19 March), probably by official order. The opposition Charter 97 site (www.charter97.org) came under a “denial of service” technical attack that shut it down from 4 p.m. until next day at 11 a.m. Its editor, Natalya Radina, told Reporters Without Borders that the site had been similarly attacked during the 2001 presidential campaign and the 2004 referendum. The website of the US-funded Radio Svoboda (www.svoboda.org) only became accessible again on 20 March at 1 p.m. and opposition candidates’ sites www.milinkevich.org and www.kozylin.com at 10 a.m. that day.- The authorities refused to allow critical journalists into the country to cover the elections, including Laure Mandeville, of the French daily Le Figaro, who was refused a visa and told in an official letter that she had written lies about the situation in Belarus. Between 20 February and 17 March, at least four journalists from the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza and Radio Bialystok were deported. Three other journalists from the Ukrainian TV stations 1+1, Tonis and 5Kanal were also expelled after covering a meeting in support of candidate Milinkevich. – At least four other Ukrainian and Polish journalists were arrested and sentenced to between five and 10 days in prison between 12 and 15 March. Andreij Poczobut, editor of the Polish magazine Polski na uchodzstwie, has been held since 14 March officially accused of “hooliganism.” He has gone on hunger-strike and is also refusing water to protest against his imprisonment. He was taken to hospital for treatment on 19 March. BelarusEurope – Central Asia to go further RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Follow the news on Belarus BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF_en May 27, 2021 Find out more
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Holli Nelson/West Virginia National Guard October 03, 2018 Through a continuous partnership with U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH), members of the West Virginia National Guard and subject matter experts in the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) and Not In My Squad (NIMS) programs teamed up to deliver training to the Peruvian Army’s (PERAR) non-commissioned officer corps Sept. 10th through 14, 2018 in Lima, Perú. U.S. Air Force Capt. Holli Nelson and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Hector Guillén, representatives of the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG), were joined by Sgt. Maj. Boris Bolaños, senior enlisted advisor to the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, Sgt. Lyndsay Monaco, a NIMS workshop facilitator and Brigade S-1 NCO for the National Ground Intelligence Center, and ARSOUTH representatives Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Cornejo and Staff Sgt. Carlos Colon. During the week-long engagement, U.S. service members focused on working with the senior enlisted leaders of the Peruvian Army to facilitate courses on leadership, empowering the NCO corps, professionalism, ethical behavior, physical fitness, NCO development and gender integration for more than 500 PERAR soldiers. In separate sessions, Capt. Nelson and Sgt. Monaco engaged directly with more than 50 females in the Peruvian Army for physical readiness training to instill esprit de corps between the two countries’ militaries and highlight the importance of gender integration, equality in the military and how NCO leadership molds U.S. forces. “In regards to gender integration and NCO professional development, we are one team. We are all a family. North or South America, it makes no difference,” said Sgt. Monaco. “After this week, the Peruvian Air Force is looking to do the same thing and the Army is ready for us to come back with more U.S. females and change the foundation for their future. This week was history making and couldn’t have been more successful. Un equipo, una pelea (One team, one fight).” “As a West Virginia guardsman, being able to have a lead role in shaping the future for the NCO corps in Perú is a high point in my career,” said Capt. Nelson, who serves as the WVNG’s public affairs officer. “Not only that, but working with our Army counterparts from the active component highlights the total force capability to influence change with our international partners.” In addition to discussions on improving gender integration in the PERAR, the core construct for the week related to NCO professional development. While the Peruvian military has a large NCO corps, it does not traditionally hold the leadership responsibilities and standards of training and education associated with NCOs in the United States military. Each day, members of the U.S. delegation presented courses to the PERAR on the basics for the U.S. Army’s core values and expectations for advancement. Each session allowed for a question and answer period for direct feedback between PERAR senior enlisted leaders and NCOs and U.S. forces. Sgt. 1st Class Guillén, the WVNG’s State Partnership Program coordinator and Peru native, presented on the importance of a strong officer and NCO relationship, the joint working relationship between the Army and Air Force in the National Guard and his experiences as a Senior NCO in the Army. “There are many ways to leave a legacy and that’s definitely by being a good leader. Good leadership helps you mentally, professionally, technically, tactically and physically,” said Sgt. 1st Class Guillen. “What I saw was a group a PERAR soldiers willing to adapt and willing to learn the new ways of working together as one for a better today.” He added that the State Partnership Program (SPP) is a terrific program that connects outstanding West Virginian and Peruvian military forces together for important engagements and partnership building. West Virginia and Perú have been linked together through the SPP since 1996. As a part of the NIMS workshop, the PERAR NCOs were able to brainstorm ideas and highlight issues in the organization, without senior enlisted or officers in the room, to present to their leadership with recommendations for change. PERAR NCOs were empowered to recognize issues within their unit, develop courses of actions and deliver their ways forward to their respective leaders who can implement change or produce a resolution. “In the last few days, I’ve come to realize that Peruvian Army is eager to develop their NCO Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Colon. “This week, the U.S. Army gave them the right tools to do so. In this engagement, we influenced the women in the Peruvian Army to seek leadership and self-development. We opened many doors for them to grow in their military life an also in their civilian life and made an impact in the future growth of the NCO corps as a whole.” This engagement is a part of an ongoing series between ARSOUTH and PERAR. It’s based on a 2016 memorandum of understanding signing, designed to provide a foundation for institutional change to education and leader development within the PERAR NCO corps.