Members of the official Belarusian Union of Journalists (BUJ) are unable to take part in a meeting on journalists' safety in the OSCE region, which is being held in Vilnius on June 7-8. BUJ representatives have been invited by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Evaldas Ignatavicius, but the embassy has issued no visas to them, as they are limited by the EU sanctions.
«This is an unprecedented step. It shows negative trends in the understanding of contemporary development of society, which manifest themselves in the environment of the European bureaucrats. Obviously, this decision is caused by the unwillingness to allow contacts between public organizations of Belarus and the EU member states, as well as the fear to hear an alternative view of what is happening in our country,» BUJ.
«This representative forum planned to discuss a wide range of issues related to professional activities of journalists. Naturally, the Belarusian Union of Journalists had something to share with the colleagues,» added the organization.
EU Unaware of us Being «Blacklisted,» BUJ
The official Union of Journalists believes that the leadership of the European Union is «hiding from the European public that journalists have been included in the lists of citizens banned in the EU.» «BUJ, like other public organizations of Belarus, is constantly being invitated to participate in the EU activities. However, this part is hindered by the EU restrictive sanctions,» BelTA quoted representatives of the organization.
BUJ members exsplain their last non-admission to participate in the meeting by the EU attempts «to divide the civil society of Belarus into their and our, good and bad.» They motivate this position by the fact that the EU authorities «appear to support organizations that occupy one-sided position with respect to the processes ongoing in Belarus and restrict contacts with other organizations with the opposite view.»
We to Seek Get on to EU, BUJ
Belarusian Union of Journalists intends «to continue contacts with international NGOs, including organizations of the European Union,despite the ongoing EU policy.» Our foreign colleagues express their solidarity with Belarusian journalists. Hopefully, they will be able to openly say so during a media forum to be held in late June in Minsk, which is going to be attended by the EU representatives of the journalistic community,» added BUJ.