The Belarusian Association was recognized for perseverance and self-sacrifice in the face of repressions against the media in Belarus
The Belarusian Association of Journalists received the first Media Freedom Award, established by the governments of Great Britain and Canada.
This was reported on Monday by the foreign ministries of the two countries.
The award aims to support international efforts to improve the safety of journalists around the world, said Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne and his British counterpart Dominique Raab.
The Independent Union of Belarusian Journalists received the award on Monday at the end of the second global conference on press freedom hosted by Canada and Botswana, which was held in a virtual format.
The Belarusian organization was noted for its “unwavering commitment to journalistic ethics and principles, and for its perseverance and self-sacrifice in the face of the increasing targeted repression of the media in Belarus,” the Canadian Foreign Ministry said.
“I pay tribute to the Belarusian Association of Journalists for their dedication to reporting on the human rights situation and electoral fraud amid violence, threats and intimidation.. The work of those who defend media freedom has never been more important, ”Raab said..
The Minsk-based 1,300-member association has already received the EU-established Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2004.
“Today, journalists in Belarus have to literally work under fire in a peaceful country,” said the chairman of the association Andrei Bastunets, receiving the award. “They become victims of political violence and are sentenced to lengthy arrests for their work.”.
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