Three Belarussian journalists – Katerina Borisevich from TUT.BY, Daria Chultsova and Katerina Andreeva from «Belsat» – are now in custody: they have been charged in criminal cases.

Katerina Borisevich quoted an emergency hospital doctor and medical records when reporting that Roman Bondarenko was sober when taken to hospital. As a result, she has been charged with disclosing medical secrets, «which caused grave consequences». Andreeva and Chultsova were streaming from the Square of Change, a courtyard where in November the unknown people cut off white-red-white ribbons indicating support for anti-government protests and then detained Roman Bondarenko. Both journalists have been charged with the organization of actions grossly violating public order.

Roman Bondarenko was taken from a police station to hospital with serious injuries, the doctors were unable to save him, the next day the 31-year-old young man died. Despite numerous audio and video evidence of what happened in the Square of Change that day a criminal case on the fact of his death has not yet been opened.
It is within our power to make this case of a gross ban on the profession of journalist in Belarus public. Every repost, every article or video message will help prove the importance of freedom of speech for the Belarusian civil society. Become a part of our information campaign, every vote counts!
In fact, when journalists are sent to jail, this always, I am convinced, shows the fear of the authorities. It reveals the authorities' desire to silence journalists because they are afraid of the truth, the authorities are afraid that society will know the truth. This is a feature of all repressive regimes, an example of which is the regime of Mr Lukashenko.

What is happening in Belarus, the way they treat the protesters who behave exceptionally correctly, speaks of the repressive, I would even dare say, the punitive nature of the regime.

If anyone should be tried, it is the leadership of this country, which bears direct responsibility for the unheard-of brutality with which the so-called forces of order treat those who loudly protest against a regime that is inhuman in its essence.
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Alexander Grigorievich [Lukashenko – Ed.], journalists don't belong in jail, even if the authorities do not like them. They end up behind bars simply for doing their job. By imprisoning journalists, you show your weakness, but you still cannot silence them this way. Please release Katerina Borisevich, Katerina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova, stop persecuting journalists, and we will all thank you.
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Alexander Grigorievich [Lukashenko – Ed.], journalists don't belong in a paddy wagon and on bunk beds. Especially if these journalists are women. By persecuting them, putting them behind bars, you demonstrate not strength, but weakness. Alexander Grigorievich, release Katerina Borisevich, Katerina Andreeva and Daria Chultova, leave the journalists alone, let them do their job.
Belarusian human rights activists recognised Katerina Borisevich, Katerina Andreeva and Darya Chultsova as political prisoners. They believe that their arrests were arbitrary and politically motivated. Human rights activists demand their immediate release from custody and an end to the criminal prosecution.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) also demands the immediate release of journalists and an end to the criminal prosecution. Besides, they demand to hold accountable those responsible for violating the rights of journalists and civilians.

The international human rights organization Amnesty International recognized journalist Katerina Borisevich and anesthesiologist Artyom Sorokin prisoners of conscience.

"Sorokin and Borisevich are both prisoners of conscience, detained solely for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression, and must be immediately and unconditionally released and the criminal proceedings against them ended," says Amnesty International.

Amnesty International called the doctor and the journalist whistle-blowers who exposed disinformation.
We demand the release of Katerina Borisevich, Katerina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova. Do not stand aside and sign a petition for the immediate release of the journalists!

The petition is a natural response to misconduct. Criminal detention of journalists for solely fulfilling their professional duties violates the law and deprives people of the right to access information. By signing the petition, we can show that a ban on freedom of speech has not gone unnoticed.