Media freedom agency in Belarus liquidated

The Supreme Court of Belarus officially annulled the registration Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ).  BAJ has worked tirelessly for 25 years to protect the rights of journalists. This formal “liquidation” was appealed by the Justice Ministry and is a heavy blow to the independent press in Belarus.

The Justice Ministry first notified the BAJ on June 21 of an audit and demanded the submission of thousands of documents by the following day. The organization complied, but couldn’t hand over documents seized by law enforcement officials during the search of their office in February 2021.

On July 15, the Ministry issued a warning, demanding that BAJ submit the missing documents by July 16. The ministry also claimed the association’s offices in Homyel and Maladzyechna did not have registered addresses, which is not the case, according to BAJ.