The official Google account and YouTube channel of the Belarusian Investigative Committee have been blocked on the back of Western countries’ introducing sanctions against a number of individuals and organisations linked to the Lukashenka regime.
“Your Google account has been disabled in accordance with our regulations regarding export restrictions and sanctions; it cannot be restored,” the company said in a statement.
Along with the official account, the agency’s verified YouTube channel with more than 23,000 subscribers has been blocked, Yuliya Hancharova, a representative of the Investigative Committee, told state-run news agency BelTA.
On 9 August 2020, numerous protest rallies started throughout Belarus on the back of announcing the preliminary results of the 2020 presidential election; the major demands of Belarusians were Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence as well as bringing to justice those involved in battering and torturing peaceful demonstrators. There are several deaths that are linked to the post-election protests. As of today, 828 persons have been recognised as political prisoners by the Belarusian human rights community. According to the Amnesty International organisation, the Belarusian authorities admitted receiving some 900 complaints of abuse by police in connection with the protests, but by the end of the year not a single criminal investigation had been opened, nor had any law enforcement officer been charged with respective violations.
The country’s investigative authorities, i.e. the Investigative Committee, has been apparently assisting the regime in prosecuting opponents and muzzling dissent.