Belarusian Foreign Ministry stripped dozens of foreign journalists of accreditation
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has revoked dozens of local journalists working for foreign media outlets from their accreditation, Natalya Vasilyeva, the correspondent of The Daily Telegraph in Moscow , said on Twitter.
Journalists from the bureau Reuters, Associated Press, AFP and Deutsche Welle were left without accreditations allowing journalists to work legally in the country, Vasilyeva said. According to her, if they report from the streets, they may be detained by the police.
According to the Belarusian publication Tut.by, journalists from the BBC, Radio Liberty, the German TV channel ARD, the French Radio International (RFI) and the Present Time were deprived of their accreditations. The Tut.by publication mentions the names of 17 journalists deprived of their accreditation.
The Russian Embassy in Belarus reported that the Foreign Ministry has revoked four Russian journalists from the Associated Press and ARD. Press secretary of the Russian Embassy Alexei Maskalev said that media workers are leaving Belarus “in accordance with the decision of the Belarusian law enforcement agencies.” ARD Belarusian correspondent Ilya Kuznetsov said that his Russian colleagues were banned from entering the country for five years.
The Foreign Ministry of Belarus reported that the journalists were deprived of their accreditation on the proposal of the interdepartmental commission on information security under the country’s Security Council.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka, even before the presidential elections in Belarus, criticized foreign journalists who, in his words, “call for mass riots”. “There is no need to wait for any end of the electoral campaign. Drive them out of here if they do not comply with our laws and invite people to the Maidans, ”Lukashenka said.