Rapporteur calls for the release of detained Belarusian and Russian journalists

Volodymyr Ariev (Ukraine, EPP/CD), PACE General Rapporteur on Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists, today strongly condemned the arrest of hundreds of demonstrators in Belarus, where according to media reports over 100 journalists have been subject to increasing pressure, detentions, violence and administrative charges, and throughout Russia, where hundreds of protesters, including journalists, where also arrested.

”I call on the authorities of both countries to immediate release the journalists detained and to stop such practice. Any pressure and restrictions on the media are unacceptable and cannot be justified in the public interest or for security reasons. The Belarusian and the Russian authorities must guarantee freedom of the press, which is a cornerstone of democracy”, he stated.