Information minister defends arrests of journalists

Information Minister Liliya Ananich on Wednesday defended the multiple arrests of journalists during recent street protests in Belarus.

Liliya Ananich

"The journalist's right should never be stronger than another right," she told reporters during an international media exhibition in Minsk. "If law enforcement agencies were taking measures to secure a quiet atmosphere during these events, this is their right and you should comply with the requirements set for you."

Ms. Ananich suggested that journalists "simply comply" with the Media Law currently in force. She described the country's regulations governing the media as "perfect."

Representatives of media organizations have been persecuted by the Belarusian authorities for performing their professional duties on more than 130 occasions since the beginning of this year, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Some journalists were jailed earlier this year on a charge of participation in an unauthorized demonstration.