IFJ launches international campaign urging authorities to reopen murdered journalist's case

Country/Topic: Belarus
Date: 19 October 2006
Source: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Person(s): Vieranika Charkasava ( Veronika Cherkasova )
Target(s): journalist(s)
Type(s) of violation(s): killed Urgency: Bulletin

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Send a letter on Friday, October 20
Tell Belarusian Authorities to Reopen Charkasava Case

Investigative journalist Vieranika Charkasava was a well-known opposition figure in her native Belarus. Her brutal murder two years ago has made Charkasava a symbol of media and civic repression in the country. Please join the IFJ campaign to get the Belarusian authorities to reopen the investigation into her murder, bring her killers to justice and show its commitment to protecting press freedom in Belarus.

After eleven years of rule, the Lukashenko government is on the verge of eradicating all meaningful independent journalism in Belarus. During this time it has bullied, fined and imprisoned critical journalists. It has introduced a series of legal measures to make it increasingly difficult to openly criticise government. At the beginning of the year non-state media were banned from the national printing press and distribution systems, an effective monopoly in the country, forcing several papers such as the Narodnya Volya to print and distribute sporadically from Russia.

If anything the pressure has intensified since Lukashenko's re-election for a third successive term. Today, most non-state media have now been forced to give up printing and to move solely to Internet operations.

The IFJ is launching a special appeal to the authorities to re-open the investigation into Charkasava's murder. Friday, 20th October is the second anniversary of her murder. Send a letter on Friday to urge Lukashenko to reopen her case.

Download, sign and send an appeal to the Belarusian government at: