Media freedom in Belarus impossible under present-day conditions – UN Special Rapporteur

Media freedom in Belarus is impossible as the country keeps using an authorization system of registration and obscure rules of revoking licences. Miklós Haraszti, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, stresses in his recent report on the freedom of expression.

The report is to be presented at the UN General Assembly on October 26, the Centre for Law Transformation ‘Lawtrend’ reports.

“The conclusions made in the report show that the system of controlling mass media that has been created over the past two decades, has practically stifled the right for freedom of expression and information,” Lawtrend says.

In accordance with the report by Miklós Haraszti, mass media pluralism does not exist in Belarus. In addition, it is the only country in Europe that has no private companies of nationwide broadcasting network and where the government acts as a direct regulator of all mass media types.

The system-level violations of the right for freedom of expression are deepened by systematic crackdown on journalists, the UN Special Rapporteur notes. What causes a special concern is pasing the amendments to the Law on Mass Media in December 2014, as they aim at regulating journalists’ activity on the Internet.

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