More than 400 journalists have left Belarus in the wake of the 2020 protests and increased repression. Twenty-nine representatives of the media are behind bars, said Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Barys Haretski.
According to Haretski, some journalists did return home, but it had bad consequences. This happened, for instance, to Seviaryn Kviatkouski, who was nevertheless released from detention and managed to leave Belarus. Often, the reason journalists return is the fear of settling down in another country.
"I will say straight away that we have a lot of partners with whom we communicate and try to support every journalist of the Belarusian media space: both those who want to stay in Belarus and those who have left. Of course, the priority is given to those who stayed in the country because they have far fewer job opportunities than those who emigrated," Haretski says.
BAJ deputy chairman believes that after moving abroad, the Belarusian media have quickly "restarted," but journalists suffered a lot during the protests, so now there is a staff shortage.
There is now a MediaSol fund, which helps journalists.