MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The Belarusian Journalist Union is freezing its membership in the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Belarusian union announced via its website on Monday.
"The Belarusian Journalist Union is freezing its participation in the International Federation of Journalists and suspending its interaction with the IFJ executive structures," the statement reads.
It is noted that the decision comes in light of "IFJ officials systematically ignoring the position and arguments of the Belarusian Journalist Union," particularly on the issue of protecting the information space from outside manipulations. The Belarusian union also accused the IFJ of "lacking solidarity with Belarusian reporters when foreign states and NGOs violate their basic rights and freedoms."
According to the Belarusian Journalist Union, IFJ officials have repeatedly brazenly interfered in affairs of Minsk and its professional media community, pursued openly biased and unconstructive policies as well as regularly deviating from the IFJ constitution and the IFJ Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists. "IFJ officials subjected state media journalists, colleagues with pro-state views, independent journalists, publicists and bloggers whose positions ran counter to the IFJ’s clearly politicized assessments to discrimination and segregation," the statement notes.
"The Belarusian Journalist Union does not see possibilities to cooperate with the IFJ executive structures until they are correct the specified violations," the statement adds. The Belarusian union said that it will seek to ramp up efforts without the IFJ mediation to engage in joint work with national journalist unions in the EU, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasia, Africa, North and Latin Americas on principles of equal, respectable and non-discriminatory partnership. "In particular, we support accelerated development of friendly relations with journalist unions of the Eurasian Economic Union, CIS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). We will boost direct contacts with the largest journalist association in Europe, the Russian Union of Journalists, and the largest creative and professional association of reporters in the world, the All-China Journalists Association," the Belarusian union stressed.
The IFJ in late July called to take measures against Belarus after a Gomel court recognized Poland’s Belsat TV channel that broadcasts in Belarus in Belarusian as extremist. The Belarusian Journalist Union is officially recognized. In turn, the Belarusian Association of Journalists that unites non-state media outlets is planned to be shut down following a lawsuit by the Justice Ministry.