“We won't be intimidated”: ARD and ZDF journalists arrested in Belarus – Merkel speaks out

What’s next in Belarus? The situation is becoming more and more tense and now Russia is also getting involved. threatens to invade.

  • The situation in Belarus is still precarious.
  • After the presidential election on August 9th, there are still massive protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.
  • The authoritarian head of state is now getting backing Moscow. Kremlin chief Putin already keeps security forces in place.

Update from August 29th, 5:05 p.m.: A camera team from ARD is after his coverage of the Protests in Belarus (Belarus) in Minsk temporarily arrested. The three employees were arrested in front of their hotel and held overnight in a police station, said the WDR in Cologne with. They were released in the morning. According to WDR their accreditation was withdrawn.

The authoritarian governance recently took massive action against journalists. Already the day before came about 50 journalists temporarily in Police custody, including a correspondent for Deutsche Welle and a ZDFCamera team. The ZDF announced on its website: “Your data was recorded in a sports hall and you had to wait with 56 other arrested persons, including a member of the newly established coordination council in Belarus.” Chancellor (CDU) described the procedure as “not acceptable”.

Arrest of ARD and ZDF employees in Belarus (Belarus): “Absolutely unacceptable”

WDR program director Jörg Schönenborn said of the preliminary arrest of the ARD team: “I am appalled by the current events and consider dealing with our team in Minsk to be absolutely unacceptable.” The incident shows that independent reporting in Belarus is becoming increasingly difficult and almost impossible , he said. “We let ourselves be public legal radio but not intimidated and will do everything in their power to ensure that our journalists can continue to report critically and independently on the events, protests and demonstrations in Belarus, ”emphasized Schönenborn.

According to WDR the Russian cameraman and Russian camera assistant were expelled from the country. The Belarusian producer will go to court on Monday. Of the Belarusian Association of Journalists spoke of a massive withdrawal of accreditations also for media representatives from Belarus, who for foreign TV or radio stations, newspapers or news agencies worked. On Saturday alone, 17 work permits were initially revoked. The authorities apparently want to prevent reporting on the protests.

Demonstrators on the way to Independence Square in Minsk in Belarus: In the course of the protests, numerous journalists were temporarily detained.

© Sergei Grits / AP / dpa

Belarus crisis escalates: Lukashenko calls on Russia – Merkel now warns Putin – EU decides on sanctions

Update from August 28, 2:41 p.m .: The Foreign minister of the EU countries have on Sanctions against high-ranking supporters of the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko agreed. As the foreign representative Josep Borell announced on Friday, those affected will be affected Election fraud and the violent crackdown on peaceful ones Protests accused.

Belarus: Lukashenko rejects phone calls with Chancellor Merkel

Update from August 28, 2:35 p.m .: The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has apparently refused one Phone call with the German Chancellor respectively. He refused that on his part, “said the CDU politician on Friday in Berlin. Merkel justified her efforts by saying that she felt it was important to talk to all sides of the conflict. “I can’t just talk to the Russian President about Belarus,” said the 66-year-old. The Chancellor had previously Russia before an intervention in Belarus warned.

Lukashenko: Chancellor Merkel warns Putin against intervention in Belarus

Update from August 28, 1:30 p.m .: Chancellor (CDU) has warned Russia against an intervention in neighboring Belarus. The demonstrators critical of the government should be able to stand up for their “rights of freedom” “without outside interference”, said Merkel on Friday at her traditional summer press conference in Berlin. She rated them critically Announcement by Russia’s President To provide security forces for use in Belarus: “I hope that such a force will not be used.”

Merkel expressed the hope that the sovereignty of Belarus “will be respected and that the people will be able to find their way there”. A She refused to change course in Russia policy. “Russia is a geostrategic actor to keep in touch with,” she said. Your government is sticking to the goal of having “good relations” with Russia.

Belarus: EU foreign ministers divided on Lukashenko sanctions – Ukraine freezes relations

Update from August 28, 11:30 a.m .: The EU foreign minister are divided on the question of whether the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko should be sanctioned for taking action against the opposition. Lithuania and the Czech Republic spoke out in favor of this at a meeting with their EU colleagues in Berlin on Friday. Luxembourg, on the other hand, pointed out that this could make mediation efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) more difficult.

The EU foreign ministers had already decided in principle in mid-August to be responsible for Election fraud and violence against demonstrators With Sanctions to prove. The EU Council is currently drawing up a list of those affected, against whom entry bans and account freezes are to be issued. At their meeting in Berlin on Thursday afternoon, the ministers discussed the concrete procedure.

The Ukraine meanwhile has contacts with the neighboring state because of the power struggle in Belarus frozen at the diplomatic level. “Only when we are convinced that these contacts will not damage Ukraine’s reputation or damage in a moral or political sense will the contacts be renewed,” Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba said on Friday night on Ukrainian television.

Belarus crisis escalates: Lukashenko calls on Russia – Putin threatens to invade and draws a red line

Minsk – 1994, it was a long time ago. Helmut Kohl is Federal Chancellor. The German national soccer team embarrassed itself in the World Cup quarter-finals and eliminated against Bulgaria. At the top of the charts is Cotton Eye Joe from the Rednex. A lot has changed around the world since then – with the exception of Belarus. As it was 26 years ago, the country is still ruled by the autocratic president Alexander Lukashenko. At least when it comes to his interpretation of election results.

Belarus: Protests over Lukashenko – “the last dictator in Europe” for alleged electoral fraud, massively criticized

The 65-year-old continues to insist on the legitimacy of his election at the beginning of August, in which he was declared the winner with 80.1 percent of the votes. Because the election was overshadowed by massive fraud allegations and many Belarusians were the opposition politician Svetlana Tichanovskaya see as the legitimate winner, the situation on site is escalating. For more than two weeks there has been on the streets Belarus massive protests against Lukashenko and his regime, which by violently suppressing the government opponents does not exactly contribute to de-escalation. The calls for new elections are only getting louder.

After the outcome of the election became known, the situation in Belarus escalated. The protests continue – like here in Minsk.

© Sergei GAPON / AFP

Because an end to the state of emergency is not in sight, there is now help from the powerful neighboring country. Russia agreed to Belarus to help with emergency services if the situation worsens. A separate reserve had been formed in the event of an intervention, said Kremlin chief the television station Rossija 1. The Russian president is threatening to invade, if the protests lead to a destabilization of the Lukashenko regime.

However, it will only be used in the country with around 9.5 million inhabitants under certain conditions, said Putin. “When the situation gets out of hand and extremist forces hiding behind political slogans cross certain borders.” He listed robbery or cars set on fire as examples. There is currently no “such need” (yet). For Putin meanwhile it is also clear where these “extremist forces” would come from – from EU and the United States. There are hardly any critical voices in the own population. Lukashenko, who played a bad part in the Corona crisis *, was elected with 80.1 percent of the vote.

The decision is meanwhile even on request Lukashenkos he follows. A friendship service? The politician, decried as the “last dictator in Europe”, recently received massive resistance, especially from the West. While the consensus on electoral fraud seems clear in the EU, congratulated Russia (as well as China) Lukashenko one day after the election to victory.

The criticism of Lukashenko, meanwhile, continues to generate little enthusiasm in Moscow. Putin once again accused the West of undue interference in the affairs of the independent country. Russia on the other hand, behave more cautiously and neutrally than many other countries, he said and mentioned them EU as well as the United States.

Everyone knows each other: (r.) And Alexander Lukashenko, here with Kazakhstan’s ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

© dpa

Belarus: Stoltenberg criticizes Putin’s decision – “nobody should interfere there”

Presidential candidate Tichanovskaya meanwhile spoke out against any interference by Russia. It was a crisis that had to be resolved within Belarus, she told the Russian radio station Echo Moskwy. Also NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia not to intervene. “It is very clear: we respect the territorial integrity of Belarus. It is a sovereign and independent state. And nobody – too Russia not – should interfere there “, he said bild.de.

The neighboring states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia want to increase the pressure on the authoritarian leadership in Minsk. Independently of the EU sanctions, you have decided on your own sanctions. Poland also warned Russia against military intervention. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki Handle Moscow at the same time sharply.

Belarus: Poland goes to the barricades over Putin – “a hostile act and a breach of international law”

“The Polish government urges Russia to immediately revise its plans for military intervention in Belarus to give up on the false pretext of restoring order, ”he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. Such a move would be “a hostile act” and a “breach of international law”. At the moment, however, it is the next inglorious chapter in a country that yearns for change more than it has for a long time. It’s not 1994 anymore. (as with material from dpa) *Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen digital editorial network.

List of rubric lists: © Michele Tantussi / Reuters-Pool / dpa

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