Andrei Aliaksandrau and Irina Zlobina

Campaign to free Belarusian journalists

Belarus Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called for global support of independent media and journalists on the International Day of Solidarity, February 9.

And Index on Censorship and Article 19 have launched a campaign and petition to pressure the Belarus government to release journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau and his partner Irina Zlobina. The campaign was launched exactly a year after the two were arrested on 12 January 2021.

Aliaksandrau faces charges of treason and up to 15 years in prison based on allegations that he paid the fines of journalists and protestors detained during pro-democracy protests triggered by the highly disputed 2020 presidential election.

His partner Irina faces 3 years in prison on charges of violating public order for helping to organize finances for Belarus protesters.

Aliaksandrau worked at both Index on Censorship and Article 19 and maintained close relations with the Association of European Journalists when he lived in London while studying. He is founder and editor of the independent Belarus Journal, a former deputy director of independent news agency Belapan, and former deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists which the Belarusian government has ordered to be liquidated although it still maintains its website.
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