DW has gathered information on how the European Union and Belarus are reacting to the new trial against Ekaterina Andreeva.

Member of the European Parliament: "The accusations are absolutely groundless"

German politician and MEP

Delara Burkhardt

took on the role of a "godmother" journalist as part of the #WeStandBYyou solidarity campaign of the international human rights organization Libereco.

"Democracy dies where there is no press freedom.

This shows the fate of Kateryna Andreeva, Burkhardt told DW. She has been in prison for two years.

If convicted, Kateryna could be illegally imprisoned for another 15 years.

We are painfully aware of what this means for her, her relatives and many other journalists.

These accusations are absolutely groundless and are a direct attack on the freedom of the press."

The politician believes that "independent journalism should be protected not only in Belarus, but throughout the world."

German Union of Journalists: "Instead of prison she should receive a medal"

"Treason?

This accusation against our colleague Ekaterina Andreeva is an insult, - said the German Union of Journalists (DJV).

- A journalist is not a traitor, but an educator.

Instead of imprisonment, she should receive a medal.

No trial of Kateryna Andreeva, no imprisonment!

Freedom of the press in Belarus!"

Zeit Foundation: "Courage should not be condemned"

During her imprisonment, Kateryna Andreeva was awarded several journalistic awards, including the Leipzig Prize for Media Freedom and the Free Media Awards, awarded by the Zeit Foundation in Hamburg together with the Norwegian Stiftelsen Fritt Ord Foundation.

Professor

Manuel

J. Hartung, chairman of the board of the Zeit Foundation, says that journalists such as Kateryna Andreeva advocate for free coverage of events:

"For this, we awarded her the Free Media Award in 2021.

The unlimited courage with which Kateryna Andreeva covered the protests against Lukashenka's regime allowed many people in Belarus to form their own opinion about these protests.

This audacity should not be punished by condemnation, it is a direct attack on the freedom of the press," he believes.

Reporters Without Borders: "The level of repression in Belarus is higher than in Russia"

The Reporters Without Borders organization is sure that the vague accusation brought against Kateryna can be used against anyone.

"Andreeva is already the third journalist in Belarus to be charged with similar charges (media manager

Andrei Alexandrov

and journalist

Dzianis Ivashyn

are also accused of treason ).

And here the methodology is clearly used, which should silence all those who disagree."

The organization draws attention to the fact that previously the authorities used administrative fines against journalists, but now they may be deprived of their liberty for a long time.

"It can be assumed that against the background of the crisis in Ukraine, the West's attention to Belarus has drastically decreased.

And Lukashenka is now trying to tighten the screws.

It should be noted that the level of repression in Belarus is higher than in Russia.

There are 27 journalists behind bars in Belarus, while, according to our information, there are 11 in Russia," said Birger Schütz, an employee of the Reporters Without Borders press service, in an interview with

DW

.

BAJ representative Barys Horetsky: "The trial of Kateryna is a massacre"

The deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ)

Barys

Horetsky considers Kateryna Andreeva an example of courage and true independent journalism.

"All these years she was on the forefront of reporting in Belarus, in the place of hot events and was never afraid to be exactly where protests and detentions are taking place," he recalls.

Boris is sure that Andreyeva went to jail for her courage:

"And now Kateryna continues to take revenge for her position.

For the fact that she did not give in to the tricks of the regime, for the fact that she did not change her opinion, a new criminal case was opened."

Barys Horetsky notes that the trial of Kateryna was organized to "instill fear in other journalists and society in general, to show that such a massacre can be carried out against any person in Belarus.

"Of course, Katya is innocent.

None of the political prisoners and journalists behind bars are innocent.

And her trial is torture," he says.

Kateryna Andreeva: "We do not have the right to any "no strength"

On his Facebook page, Igor Iliyash published an excerpt of Kateryna's letter from imprisonment, which demonstrates her willpower.

"It's like I unlocked the last level in a difficult game.

Only this is not a game.

And we have no right to all kinds of "I don't have the strength", "I can't do it anymore", etc., - the journalist wrote to her husband.

- Therefore, there is nothing left, except what we already know how to do: muster all the will, patience, endurance, restraint and look ahead with calm dignity."