This has led to the increased presence in Belarus, Russian media resources.

In 2018 in Belarus increased pressure on independent media and journalists. This occurred in spite of the declared government policy of “liberalization” and “dialogue” on human rights with the European Union and the United States, said in a report published on the website of the Belarusian Association of journalists (BAJ).

BAJ notes that in 2018 the legislation in the sphere of mass media was amended, which has tightened state control, carried out extrajudicial blocking of popular Internet information resources, has increased the pressure on freelance journalists for cooperation with foreign media without accreditation, as well as used legislation to counter “extremism” to restrict freedom of expression.

Among the major events last year, the BAJ calls the criminal case against Brest blogger Sergey Petrukhin, the criminal case of the head of the news Agency BelaPAN Ales Lipay (it was later discontinued due to his death), And “Learned the case” and the verdict to the chief editor of the portal Marina Zalohovaci.

“These actions of the authorities were rather not a new attack on the media, and a continuation of the purposeful and consistent policy of the Belarusian state, aimed to establish maximum control over the informational space of the country, – the document says. – Authorities are trying to tighten control over the Belarusian segment of the Internet, where state media is clearly losing independent resources. The attempts of certain circles in the government to solve the problem of the Internet by tightening state control over it is perceived by experts as a strategic mistake from the point of view of national security in the media sphere”.

BAJ notes that the squeezing of the information space, the independent media will not lead to a rise in the popularity of public media, and increased presence in Belarus, Russian media sources as “the degree of influence which the audience of something that big.”