Belarus: Massive blockade of media websites and attack on printed media circulation

The Belarusian authorities have blocked access to several media websites and disrupted print media circulation, claiming that there are problems with the printing presses. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), in condemning this blatant and anti-democratic attack on the free flow of information.

AFP / Sergei Gapon

On Friday, August 21, the Ministry of Information restricted access to the websites of a large number of media, civil society organizations and unions.

Media , including Radio Svaboda, Belsat TV, Euroradio, Solidarity newspaper,, The Village,, Vitebsk Courier, People's News of Vitebsk,, and the Human rights center Viasna suffered blocks of their websites.


Since August 9, Belarusian citizens have had no access to the BAJ's website. The union uses its Telegram channel to share the most important news about the situation during the protests that have spread across the country after the disputed presidential election. 

Disrupting printed media circulation

In addition to the digital media blockade, the state-owned Belarusian Printing House disrupted the release of Narodnaya Volya and Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi newspapers arguing a technical printing machine failure was at fault. For Komsomolskaya Pravda, this is the third time since the presidential election the paper has failed to be printed.

The BAJ claimed that both the digital and printed media blockades are government attempts to "censor and obstruct the media's legitimate activities in Belarus."

"This is a government attempt to block information about post-election protests in the country and severe violence against their participants," the BAJ said.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "Blocking the access to media and disrupting printed media circulation is a blatant attack on media freedom, citizens' right to be informed and democracy. We stand in solidarity with the BAJ and all the affected media. The IFJ urges the Belarusian authorities to immediately lift the media blockade".

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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