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Iryna Khalip

HRD, Journalist
Novaya Gazeta
The Irish Times Article

Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip details dissident life

PEN Pinter Prize
Courage in Journalism Award

I simply want to tell the truth about the abductions and killings of politicians, about beatings of journalists. I cannot forget about my friends in jail, about those whose husbands were killed, about my colleagues, fewer and fewer of whom still remain in Belarus. […] However, I want to assure you that I shall continue to write the truth and talk openly about the situation in Belarus.

Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip has been severely persecuted as a result of her work to cover political and social events in Belarus since the 1990s. Iryna writes for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta which is one of the very last independent newspapers in Russia. The paper is known for being outspoken about government corruption and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Republics and its journalists have faced brutal intimidation and persecution. Anna Politkovskaya and Natalya Estemirova were both regular contributors on the subject of human rights abuses to Novaya Gazeta and paid for their courage with their lives. As a result of her work to expose corruption, Iryna's mobile phone and computer communications are constantly under surveillance, she has received death threats both to herself and her family, including her young son. She has been arrested numerous times, subjected to interrogations, beaten by Belarusian police, detained for more than one month in a KGB prison and from 2011 to 2013 endured 2 years stringent house arrest.

In 2015 many freelance journalists were called to court for 'illegal production and distribution of information'. The human rights community is routinely branded as politically motivated and accused of being the conduit of Western funding to domestic ‘radical opposition’.


Iryna Khalip