We have been informed about a number of searches and arrests at some of the most prominent Belarusian media. This is of great concern to the Council of Europe. Some of the people concerned are long-standing partners of ours and are well-known and highly-respected professionals. The law must be respected but investigations do not always require arrests to be made; this should be used as a measure of last resort.
We therefore call on the Belarusian authorities to conduct rapid and transparent investigations into the allegations against them and to release all of the arrested journalists. Freedom of the media is one of the most important human rights in a democratic society. It should be respected everywhere in Europe.