Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Lukashenka again features on Predators of Press Freedom list

Euroradio

Lukashenka again features on Predators of Press Freedom list
Photo: president.gov.by
Reporters without Borders (RSF), an international press freedom watchdog, has once again included Aliaksandr Lukashenka into the Predators of the Press 2016 " list, reports BelaPAN.

RSF says that as Lukashenka seeks to ingratiate himself with the international community, he tries to "erase his image as Europe's last dictator".

RSF also notes some improvements of the situation with press freedom in comparison with the previous years - political prisoners were released, no massive detentions of journalists like in 2011 when over 100 people were detained). "But aside from that, nothing has changed. Freelance journalists cannot get accreditation and are harrassed by the judicial authorities. The information ministry has stepped up its control over print media distribution networks and the Internet and has banned software used to circumvent online censorship."

In 2015, journalists in Belarus were punished with 28 fines "for illegal production and dissemination of information materials."

Apart from Lukashenka, the list contains 35 more politicians and organizations like the president of Russia Vladimir Putin, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Venezuela, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, China, Syria, Turkey, Chechen Republic, Eritrea and others.