President of the Republic of Belarus since 1994

Predator since taking office but more so since August 2020

 Belarus, 158th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index

Dear [Name of Candidate],

I am writing to ask you what you plan to do to defend the First Amendment, freedom of the press, and the fundamental rights of journalists to practice their profession freely in what has become an increasingly hostile environment for information and news providers.

The United States, which enshrines press freedom in the First Amendment of its Constitution, is currently witnessing a drastic decline in media freedom. On June 28, one of the most horrific attacks on press freedom in the United States occurred when five employees, including four reporters, were killed at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. According to the US Press Freedom Tracker, which comprehensively documents press freedom violations in the US committed by national, state, and local authorities as well as private individuals, 33 journalists were arrested, 43 were physically attacked, and 15 seizures of journalists’ equipment occurred in 2017. In one of these incidents, Rep. Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a Guardian journalist the night before his state’s election. While covering the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, journalists were impersonated on social media, impeding their ability to accurately investigate the facts and disseminate information which could be vital to preventing a similar tragedy. This hostility towards the press not only risks compromising the American public’s right to be informed through journalists’ reporting, but can also degrade the public’s trust in the media itself.

This is not a partisan issue; it is a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics. Journalism is at the crux of our democracy, and communities everywhere rely on journalists to provide them with information that is essential to their daily decision-making processes. It was local investigative journalist Curt Guyette who broke the story about Flint, Michigan’s lack of access to clean water in 2014, prompting years of class-action lawsuits, protests, and subsequent federal assistance to the city in order to try to resolve the crisis. Reporters Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, and Ronan Farrow publicized sexual assault allegations against influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017, leading to the ubiquitous and powerful #MeToo movement which brought decades of sexual abuse and harassment across multiple industries to light.

Yet freedom of the press in the US is currently in dire need of congressional support. It is our civic duty as one of the world’s leading democracies to uphold principles that support and protect the rights of journalists so that they may hold those in power accountable and ensure an informed and engaged community.

If you are elected, what do you plan to do to protect this utterly essential component of our democracy? What are your plans to protect the public’s right to be informed through a free and independent press?

[Your name]
Hello, my name is _______ and I am from [city, state].

I’m calling to let you know that [candidate/representative]'s stance on freedom of the press is extremely important in my decision to vote. I feel that this is not a partisan issue, but a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics.

I have become increasingly concerned with the growing climate of hostility for journalists in this country, and I would like for [candidate/representative] to publicly address what they will do to defend press freedom if [he/she] is elected.

Thank you.
Freedom of the press is suffering in the US. @[yourcandidate] if you are elected to serve in Congress, what are your plans to protect journalists and our right to be informed? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

Democracy depends on a free and independent press and its ability to hold those in power accountable. [@yourcandidate] will you take measures to protect journalism and the First Amendment? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

In June, four reporters were murdered in an appalling targeted attack on the Capital Gazette and freedom of the press. [@yourcandidate] what will you do to address the growing threat to journalists in this country? #DefendPressFreedom

Press freedom is in steady decline in the US. I want my representative to defend the work of journalists as well as my right to be informed. [@yourcandidate] if you are elected what will you do to protect a free press? #DefendPressFreedom
Journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. And yet in the US, attacks on journalists are becoming more common, undermining the media's role and creating opportunities for government overreach, the erosion of press freedom, and impeding our right to be informed. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join me at

A free press is essential to our democracy. Communities everywhere rely on journalists to report on our government’s actions and hold public figures accountable, providing us with the information we need to make decisions every day. And yet physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists in the US are increasing at an astonishing rate. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. You should too. Read more at

Press freedom is declining in the US at an alarming rate. Physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists have increased drastically in the last two years. As the US midterm elections approach, we must remind our congressional candidates that journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. I’m contacting my representatives and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join in and help me spread the word at


Stay updated on #DefendPressFreedom

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    PREDATORY METHOD: State terror

    Labelled as “Europe’s last dictator” by the western media, Alexander Lukashenko has subjected journalists to an unprecedented level of persecution since his disputed reelection in August 2020. One of his priorities is preventing any media coverage of street protests and to this end he has carried out mass arrests of journalists, subjected them to threats, violence and even torture, disconnected the Internet and censored leading news websites and print media outlets.


    He has also modified legislation in order to obstruct the media and criminalise their work. Journalists covering unauthorised events are now regarded as participants in the event. Livestreaming has been banned and the list of reasons for denying accreditation is now much longer. Trumped-up charges are now also part of his arsenal. The subservient judicial system has begun to treat the work of independent journalists as “extremism.” The scale of the crackdown has forced many journalists to flee abroad, especially to Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

    FAVOURITE TARGETS: Independent journalists, hounded relentlessly

    Many journalists are currently detained arbitrarily. Lukashenko stops at nothing to silence journalists and even forced a passenger jet flying over Belarus to land in Minsk so that he could arrest one, Raman Pratasevich, in an unprecedented action designed to terrorise journalists, both those in Belarus and those living abroad. Pratasevich and other journalists such Alyaksandr Buraku, the correspondent of the German public radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle, have suffered an alarming fate in prison that includes torture and inhuman treatment. The executives of the leading independent news website Tut.By have meanwhile been accused of tax fraud without a shred of evidence.


    “Today, everyone must understand the precise aim with which biased
    information resources have been created in all countries – websites,
    Telegram channels, video blogs, social media groups and instant
    messaging services (...) it is important to understand that we don’t
    combat dissent or different opinions. It’s just that freedom of
    expression, which we protect constitutionally, has now become an
    extremist activity. We will fight against this with determination. We
    won’t back down.” (Comments made on 30 July 2021 to officials during a
    meeting to discuss social and political issues, including access to
    information in Belarus.)

    wait until the end of the election campaign. Throw them out now if they
    don’t respect our laws and try to reproduce [Ukraine’s Maidan
    revolution] here.” (In comments to government officials on 23 June 2020,
    accusing international media outlets, especially Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the BBC, of causing rioting in Belarus).

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