Meet the 73-year-old great grandmother squaring up to Lukashenko in Belarus

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”114819″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On 9 August, Belarus went to the polls to elect their president. Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, was seeking a fifth term.

When the result was announced, Lukashenko had won 80% of the vote. However, the Belarusian people believed the election was rigged and took to the streets in their thousands to protest peacefully.

One of those protesting was 73-year-old great grandmother Nina Bahinskaya, who has become a famous face on the streets of Minsk as she squares up to Lukashenko’s riot police.

She has been arrested and fined half of her pension but still comes back for more.

Index on Censorship’s associate editor Mark Frary spoke with her to find out how she became an unlikely protestor, why she always carries a flag and whether she fears for her safety in the face of police brutality.

With thanks to Franak Viacorka, Radio Free Europe, Euroradio and Alina Stefanovic (interpreter).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Azerbaijan: Four journalists arrested over Quba riots

Three senior employees of a TV station in Azerbaijan were arrested on 13 March. Vugar Gonagov, executive director; Zaur Guliyev, editor, and Zaur Mustafayev, head of public relations at Khayal TV were arrested along with Jamil Mammadli, a reporter from Polygon news agency. The journalists were arrested following accusations they were implicated in riots in Quba in early March. The four men are being held, reportedly without charge, in Baku. The riots took place on 1 March, demonstrators gathered to demand the resignation of local government head, after a video appeared on YouTube showing him making derogatory remarks about residents.

Iraqi Kurdistan: Riots lead to press freedom abuses

Six media offices have been attacked, and 16 journalists have been threatened and assaulted in Iraqi Kurdistan during widespread riots. The offices of a number of media organisations owned by opposition group the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) were set on fire. KIU offices in the cities of Dohuk, Zakho, and Simel were also attacked. Local reports stated that between six and 10 KIU journalists had been arrested since 2 December.

Pakistan: Reporter injured in shoot out

A TV journalist in Pakistan was shot and critically injured during a riot on Sunday. Ehsan Kohati, a senior reporter for the Waqt News TV channel was wounded in the chest and abdomen whilst reporting at a rally than turned violent in Karachi on November 27.  Kohati was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he remains in a stable condition. Seven other people were injured and two were killed in the attack on a rally of Shiite Muslim mourners on the first day of the Islamic calendar month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.