Lithuania's Foreign Vice-Minister Adomėnas meets with the Head of Reporters Without Borders, discusses illegal detentions of journalists in Belarus
On 27 May, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Mantas Adomėnas met with Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General and Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders, and discussed possibilities for strengthening the world press freedom and security of journalists, as well as future international initiatives on the protection of journalists.
The meeting underscored that the forced landing by the Belarusian regime of a jet in Minsk, the detention of the journalist Raman Pratasevich and his friend had highlighted the brutality and unpredictability of the regime that did not respect any international norms.
“Lithuania condemns the Belarusian regime's ongoing pressure against independent media, journalists and representatives of the political society. We demand an immediate and unconditional release not only of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, who have been arrested, but also of all other political prisoners. Lithuania will continue to support human rights and the aspirations for democracy of the Belarusian people," said the Foreign Vice-Minister.
The Foreign Vice-Minister also stressed the importance of sanctions and a public reaction to attacks against journalists both in Lithuania’s neighbourhood and globally.
Christophe Deloire thanked for Lithuania’s cooperation in the international initiative Information and Democracy Partnership, and for its active role in raising and tackling the issues of media and the safety of journalists within international formats. Deloire thanked for Lithuania’s contribution to the Reporters Without Borders' initiative, seeking an international response to modern challenges posed by “infodemia” and disinformation. Recommendations on the regulation and management of media and social networks in the context of modern challenges have been prepared. Lithuanian experts were also involved in these activities.
The Foreign Vice-Minister noted that freedom of expression and the safety of journalists were among Lithuania’s top priorities in international and regional human rights forums. These themes are also among the priorities of Lithuania’s candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2022-2024. Lithuania actively participates in international media freedom and journalist security coalitions and groups of friends, is active in raising the topic of freedom of expression and the safety of journalists within international and regional human rights formats (the UNGA, the UN Human Rights Council, the UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe).