Zhanna Litvina

Belarusian radio journalist and chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Zhanna Litvina is an award winning Belarusian radio journalist and former chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). The association provides legal aid to journalists and publishers who face illegal searches, arrests, and threats. Before co-founding BAJ in 1995, Litvina worked in television and radio for 20 years. She worked for two radio stations that were shut down by state authorities. In 2004, the European Parliament awarded BAJ the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for acting “as a champion of the independent media.” For her work as chair, Litvina was awarded the Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism in 2004, and the Ebert Foundation on Human Rights Award in 2008. In 2012, Litvina, along with several other journalists and media specialists, were banned from traveling abroad by Belarusian authorities in what was widely seen as an attempt to impede the work of journalists. In 2016, she signed a letter along with seven other Sakharov laureates to Cuban president Raul Castro showing support for dissident and fellow Sakharov laureate, Guillermo Fariñas who was on a hunger strike protesting the treatment of dissidents in Cuba. Today, Litvina serves on the board of directors of BAJ.

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