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    Belarusian Association of Journalists nominated for UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize 2022

    On February 15, Poland, along with forty-five other countries, including all EU states, submitted the Belarusian Journalists Association’s candidacy for the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2022.

    The candidacy has also been endorsed by numerous NGOs supporting the work of journalists around the world. Poland was among the countries that initiated this initiative at the UNESCO forum. On behalf of the EU and like-minded countries, the request was made by France, currently serving as President of the EU Council.

     

    The nomination is an expression of solidarity for all journalists and media workers who, with great sacrifice and at the risk of their safety and lives, reported on violations of human rights and fundamental civil liberties in Belarus. Its purpose is to honor their work to date and to make a clear international statement against the common human rights violations by the Alexander Lukashenko regime.

     

    According to international reports, Belarus has the highest number of arrested and imprisoned journalists in the world as a proportion of its population. Data from the Belarusian Association of Journalists show that 113 journalists and media workers were detained in the course of their work in 2021. At the end of 2021, 32 people were still in detention or prison, including one of the leaders of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Andrzej Poczobut. In August 2021, the Supreme Court of Belarus decided to suspend the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

     

    The nomination is a symbol of the fight for free media and freedom of speech around the world.

     

    The Prize was established on the initiative of UNESCO’s Executive Board and is formally conferred by the Director-General of the Organization, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May.

     

    It is named in honor of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986.

     

    World Press Freedom Day 2022 will take place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on 3 May 2022.

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