Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about the death threats received by Natallia Radzina, a well-known Belarusian journalist living in exile in Poland, and calls on the Polish authorities to take whatever measures are necessary to protect her.
Radzina has just released the text of the very explicit email she received on 22 July after more than a year without receiving any threats. It says: “Radzina, you slut, we’re after you. Start shitting yourself, Nazi trash. You have just a few days left, fifth column bitch. We are already here. Look around you more often.”
Radzina is the editor of Charter97, a news website that is very critical of the authoritarian regime headed by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It is a leading source of news and information in Belarus, where it has been blocked since January but can still be accessed via a mirror site.
“It is clear to me that these threats come from Belarus,” Radzina told RSF. “The authorities apparently expected us to stop working after Charter97 was blocked. But we didn’t stop working for a single day so now they are threatening to bring it to an end by other means. (...) But we’re going to continue working as we’ve always done.”
“These death threats against a journalist living in exile in an EU country must be taken very seriously,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk. “We ask the Polish authorities to condemn them publicly, to identify those responsible and to do whatever is necessary to protect Natallia Radzina and her staff.”
Radzina found refuge in Poland in March 2011, after being arrested in December 2010 and held for more than a month by the Belarusian KGB. Charter97’s founder, Oleg Bebenin, was found hanged near Minsk in September 2010.
Poland is ranked 58th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Belarus is ranked 155th.