Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova awarded Leipzig Prize for Freedom and Future of Media

Belsat journalists Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova will receive an honorary prize for “being voices of free journalism under an autocratic regime and suffering for their work.”

The award will be presented in October in Leipzig. The award ceremony for Freedom and the Future of the Media is usually held on October 8 in Leipzig, on the eve of the anniversary of the demonstrations against the GDR regime on October 9, 1989.

The Prize for Freedom and the Future of the Media has been awarded since 2001 by the Media Foundation of the German bank Sparkasse Leipzig. The prize is awarded to journalists, publishers, publicists, and groups and organizations that make special contributions to the defense of free media and the future of the free press.

In personal letters to Darya and Katsyaryna, Stephan Seeger, executive director of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, hopes that the journalists will soon be released and will be able to receive the award personally.

“For several years now, we have been observing with growing alarm the extent to which the Belarusian regime restricts press freedom. After the 2020 presidential election, it is clear that Lukashenka and his government can only stay in power by severely restricting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of assembly. He is willing to do anything to maintain that power, up to and including the forced landing of a civilian passenger plane,” says Stephan Seeger in a press release about the award. “The Jury’s decision to give our Media Award to Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova is a sign of support to all media representatives as well as a civil society not only in Belarus for their wish to continue to stand up for freedom of speech and independent reporting.”

The jury especially appreciates the tireless efforts of both young journalists who, through their work, brought attention to the plight of Raman Bandarenka and helped ensure that the voice of free reporting in an authoritarian regime is heard.