Natalya Radina

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Natalya Radina
Natalya Radina IPFA winner 2011.jpg
Nationality Belarusian
Occupation journalist
Organization Charter 97
Known for dissident reporting
Awards International Press Freedom Award (2011)

Natalya Radina is a Belarusian journalist and the editor-in-chief of the independent news site Charter 97, which publishes many articles critical of President Aleksandr Lukashenko's rule.[1]

Following the disputed December 2010 presidential election—in which pro-democracy candidate Andrei Sannikov lost to Lukashenko, often called "Europe's last dictator"[2]—a number of opposition protesters took to the streets, alleging fraud. Radina and the Charter 97 staff posted numerous articles documenting arrests and injuries to the protesters by state security forces.[3] On 21 December 2010, the Charter 97 office was raided by agents of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (known in Russian as the "KGB"). Radina only had time to post "We're all at the KGB" on the site before being arrested and taken away.[3]

She was then indicted on charges of "organizing mass disorder", an offense carrying a possible fifteen-year jail sentence.[1] Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience and demanded her release,[4] as did the Committee to Protect Journalists.[5] Radina was released on 31 January 2011 on the condition that she relocate from the capital of Minsk to her hometown of Kobrin. She was told not to leave Kobrin and to check in daily with police; in addition, her passport was confiscated, and she was forbidden to speak about her case.[6]

Unable to work, Radina fled from Belarus to Russia in March 2011. She spent four months in hiding in Moscow before receiving asylum from Lithuania, where she now lives.[1] She continues to act as editor-in-chief of Charter 97.

In November 2011, The Committee to Protect Journalists presented Radina its International Press Freedom Award, "an annual recognition of courageous journalism".[7] In her acceptance speech, Radina blamed "foreign indifference" for the continued dictatorship of Lukashenko and called on foreign governments to remember that "all of Belarus today is a big prison".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Natalya Radina, Belarus". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Andrew Osborn (20 December 2010). "Alexander Lukashenko: "Europe's last dictator"". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Michael Schwirtz (21 December 2010). "Clashes in Belarus Show Resilience of Both Sides". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Le Bélarus exhorté à libérer des prisonniers d'opinion incarcérés à la suite d'une manifestation postélectorale" (in French). Amnesty International. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Journalists charged with mass disorder, police raids continue". IFEX. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Authorities free Radina, Khalip but impose severe restrictions". IFEX. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "CPJ International Press Freedom Awards 2011". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Natalya Radina (22 November 2011). "Award Acceptance Speech". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 17 January 2012.