France denounces “arbitrary” media repression in Belarus, World News


The French government on Sunday condemned an “arbitrary” crackdown on the media in Belarus after the accreditation of several journalists working for foreign media was withdrawn following contested presidential elections.Also read: French government investigates senior military official for “breach of security”

“The arbitrary measures taken by the Belarusian authorities against journalists violate press freedom,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.

“I call on the Belarusian authorities to cancel these measures without delay”, he added, affirming that the crisis in Belarus requires “the establishment of an inclusive national dialogue”.

“Repressive measures against journalists cannot help,” he said.

On Saturday, Belarusian authorities withdrew the accreditation of journalists working for several foreign media, including AFP, before a major demonstration on Sunday challenging the results of the presidential election.

Belarusian government spokesperson Anatoly Glaz said the decision to revoke media credentials was taken on the recommendation of the country’s counterterrorism unit.

He did not specify the number of journalists affected by the measure, but foreign media including the BBC, Reuters and Radio Liberty reported the withdrawal of the accreditation of several of their journalists.

(AFP contributions)


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