The editor-in-chief of the Belarusian news website tut.by, Marina Solotowa, has been on trial in the capital Minsk since Tuesday. They are accused of "inactivity" and negligence, because employees of tut.by are said to have used services of the state news agency Belta without permission. The organization Reporters Without Borders, however, sees in the process an "act of intimidation against the last independent media of Belarus" by the government of the authoritarian head of state Alexander Lukashenko,
Solotova was already in August 2018 along with nine other journalists – under
They also a correspondent of the German wave – arrested. The authorities accused them of illegally gaining access to paid services
Information offers of agency Belta. The others arrested with Solotova
Journalists were after payment of compensation and interest
released; The tut.by editor-in-chief now faces up to five years imprisonment.
Solotova rejects the allegations. "The matter is targeted against tut.by," said the 41-year-old
the hearing on the website of the Belarusian Journalists Association.
Tut.by is viewed every day by more than a million people,
while Belta and other state media significantly fewer readers
have. "This is not an attempt to close us, but the competition too
Alexander Lukashenko has led Belarus with a tough hand since 1994. The former Soviet republic ranked 155 out of 180 countries in 2018 on the reporters' frontier for press freedom.
Council of Europe alerts about attacks on journalists
The euro Europe – Belonging to Belarus – is watching the increasingly massive attacks on journalists and the media with great concern. The freedom of the press in Europe is currently as "endangered as never before since the end of the
Cold War, "the pan-European country organization said in a report
140 serious attacks on journalists in
reported to its 47 member countries. As examples, the Council of Europe calls a bomb attack on a reporter in Montenegro, one
Knife attack on a journalist in Milan and an attempted
Poison stop on a Ukrainian news website staff.
Journalists were also detained at the end of 2018, according to the report.
110 of them in Turkey alone. The Mediterranean country is thus the
"the world's largest prison for journalists," said the Council of Europe. A total of
dominate in a number of countries – including Russia, Ukraine,
Turkey, several Balkan states and Azerbaijan – a climate of
Impunity ", which concerns attacks on journalists and the media,
The experts of the Council of Europe stated. The survey is based on reports of attacks on press freedom,
the twelve partner organizations and international ones
Journalists' associations, the organization Reporters Without Borders and the
Send Pen Club regularly to the Council of Europe.