Belarus – What’s that?!

Acording to Freedom Houses report on the world’s most restrictive countries, Belarus is one of them. There has for long been a big void in Swedish media when it comes to reporting on Belarus. This has affected the knowledge about the country and the fact is that many swedes still believe that Belarus is part of Russia. This is why we started the information and human rights campaign Info Belarus in 2009. We are now a strong voice that shapes public opinion, that informs and raises awareness about the situation in Europe’s last dictatorship. Simply a source of information that everyone can use, from journalists and politicians to interested individuals.

The initiative for this campaign came from Liberal Students in Sweden. Today, Info Belarus is a politicaly independent NGO, and we are open for all kinds of support and cooperation over borders. The more we are, the more can we influence. So far; these organizations are supporting the campaign:

- The Polish Institute in Sweden
- Civil Forum (Belarusian youth NGO)
- Swedish International Liberal Centre
- European Youth Parliament (Sweden)
- Christian Democratic International Centre
- Liberal Students of Sweden
- Social Democratic Youth in Värmland

So what do we want?

- Create a greater interest in Belarus among politicians, journalists and in the society.
Through targeted campaigns and events we hope to grow a bigger interest in the situation and development in Belarus.

- The belarusian democratic movement’s voice, in Sweden and in the world.
We must ensure that the Belarusian democratic friends, journalists, politicians and activists may be heard in european media.
This will create a greater interest in their situation and they can feel that they have our support.

- Inform through media reports and a regularly updated blog.
In Sweden media is reporting far too infrequently on the current events in Belarus. Therefore, we give you our blog (www.infobelarus.nu). You will find regular updates and information that is inaccessible in ordinary Swedish media. Are you a Journalist, writer, activist or politician, and want to write on our blog? Then please contact the project manager Isabel Sommerfeld on .

- Be visible in national and international media.
In order to create a bigger interest on Belarus, we want to be a strong voice in media. We are activists with special knowledge, a lot of experience from trips to Belarus and democrazy work in the country, experience as journalists and opinion leaders. We make regular trips to Belarus and report from the inside.

- Change the name ”Vitryssland” to Belarus in Sweden.
We support the ”Initiative for Belarus,” and have signed an appeal to the Language Council, the Swedish Academy and the Foreign Ministry to issue a recommendation that the name of Belarus should be used officially in Sweden instead of ”Vitryssland”. The goal is to remove the false and misleading name ”Vitryssland” from the Swedish language, like other countries in the world have changed the name Belarussia to Belarus.

Please contact us for more information. You can reach the project manager Isabel Sommerfeld at .

Follow us on Twitter: @info_belarus

To read articles about Info Belarus or articles written by our activists, click here.