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November 9 – November 15, 2015

Media violations during the elections in Belarus

The situation has not changed
Media violations during the elections in Belarus

Belarusian observers note the presidential election did not meet a number of core international standards, benefitting the incumbent Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Arciom Lyava, a correspondent for the independent newspaper Novy Chas, was forced by clerks to stop photographing a polling station in the Leninski district of Minsk. “As set forth by law, I was taking photos,” he said. This angered Alena Pazenka, headmaster of the school where the station was located. “She stated I was hindering the electoral process. Poll clerks then drew up a statement in relation to me and turned me out from the polling station.”

On election day, at least three other journalists were blocked from documenting events at polling stations. A correspondent for the Polish website Eastbook.eu was blocked from filming the vote count by clerks of a local electoral commission in the Pervomaisky district of Minsk. The chairperson of the commission, Natalia Kunouskaya, threatened to call the police and clerks had fenced off the counting area with chairs so observers couldn’t get close.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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