Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko has accused foreign media accredited by the country's foreign ministry of inciting public unrest, speaking at a government meeting, BelTA news agency reported on July 23.
"In the government and, specifically, the foreign ministry, everyone is sitting and waiting for the president's order," he was quoted as saying by BelTA. "What kind of attitude to the country is that? BBC, Radio Free Liberty and so on, as well as streams… I'm not even talking about bias; they are calling for mass unrest. Why do you tolerate this? You have accredited them here."
According to Lukashenko, state agencies should not "wait for the end of the presidential campaign."
"Expel them if they don't comply with our laws and call people to 'Maidans'," he concluded.
Last month, Interior Minister Yuri Karayev said that street rallies in the country are "managed by Telegram channels and streams of Radio Free Liberty."
Over the last few weeks, Belarusians have several times taken to the streets, protesting against incumbent President Lukashenko, who intends to be elected for his sixth term at a presidential election scheduled for August 9. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, and dozens of journalists covering the protests have been detained.
On July 21, more than 200 Belarusian journalists and bloggers sent an address to authorities, law enforcers and the public to stop the persecution of journalists covering protests rallies.