Human rights and freedom of the media in Belarus

Tuesday, November 24, at 12:0014:00
Online via Zoom

The Aleksanteri Institute and the Helsinki Inequality Initiative welcome you to join a webinar that focuses on the recent developments in Belarus from the perspective of human rights, the rule of law and freedom of the media.

After the Belarusian presidential elections of August 2020, pictures of mass demonstrations and beaten protesters have caught up our eyes. Police brutality, silencing media, arrestments and torture are unfortunately everyday life now in the country. The webinar focuses on the recent developments in Belarus from the perspective of human rights, rule of law and freedom of the media by bringing together scholars and activists to discuss the situation.

According to the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council for Europe, “Freedom of the media is in fact essential for the protection of all other human rights”. The focus of our discussion is on more universal and global norms and values, yet our analysis is located to concern the current and topical situation and events in authoritarian Belarus. What are the standards of human rights and status of the rule of law and freedom of the media in the Belarusian context? What do Belarusian journalists or activists think about it? What about ordinary citizens? How to conceptualize the recent events?

Our discussion aims to put on the table a broader problem of violation of human rights and various freedoms in Belarus. These are related not only to the fall elections but to the long history of authoritarianism. Right to life, freedom from torture and degrading treatment, right to security and fair trial, respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, expression, speech and media, freedom of assembly, association and religion are and have been for a long time at stake in Belarus.

The webinar is targeted and open to everybody who is interested in human rights, the rule of law, and freedom of the media more generally or in the specific context of Belarus.

Registration has closed!
Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants closer to the event.


12.00 Opening words by Meri Kulmala (Research coordinator at INEQ, University of Helsinki)

12.10 Comment by Hanna Savitskaya (Belarusian activist, student, Lithuania)

12.15 Presentation by Dawid Bunikowski (Visiting Teacher, Aleksanteri Institute and Affiliated Scholar, INEQ): 'Universal human rights and the rule of law. Authoritarianism in Belarus'

12.30 Presentation by Galina Miazhevich (University of Cardiff): 'Suppression and subversion - media and press freedom in Belarus after 2020 elections'

12.45 Presentation by Kristiina Silvan (University of Helsinki, FIIA): 'Lukashenka's Repressions: Human Rights Violations in post-Soviet Belarus'

13.00 Comments by Oula Silvennoinen (Vice president, PEN Finland)

13.10 Panel discussion, questions and comments

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