Updated at 15:40,13-12-2017

OSCE representative on media freedom to pay official visit to Belarus

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Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, is expected to be on an official visit in Belarus between June 3 and June 5.

On June 3, Ms. Mijatovic is scheduled to take part in a training seminar for Belarusian journalists on the development of online journalism. The event was organized by the OSCE media freedom watchdog's office, the Belarusian foreign ministry and other government agencies.

According to the OSCE press office, Ms. Mijatovic is also to have meetings with high-ranking Belarusian officials, including Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey and representatives of the Presidential Administration, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, the Supreme Court of Belarus and the Ministry of Information.

Ms. Mijatovic's previous visit to Belarus came in October 2010. She also wanted to come to the country shortly after a brutal crackdown on a post-election demonstration in Minsk on December 19, 2010, during which hundreds of people were arrested, including journalists Iryna Khalip and Natallya Radzina. She appealed twice to the then foreign minister, Syarhey Martynaw, to arrange for her to visit Minsk, but received no reply.

Ms. Mijatovic has repeatedly criticized the Belarusian authorities for stifling media freedom and persecuting journalists working for non-state media outlets.