The citizens who are ‘united with the help of Belsat Internet resources’ has been recognised as an extremist formation and ‘banned from conducting their activity in the Republic of Belarus’, the Interior Ministry reports on Wednesday morning.
It is not specified yet what the ministry means by ‘Belsat’s Internet resources’, but one can presume that its website and social media platforms are implied. Under Belarusian law, those involved in the activity of an extremist formation may face a criminal charge.
It should be noted that the words ‘extremism’ and ‘destructive activity’ are now used by the Lukashenka regime to condemn any manifestation of dissent and protest moods.
Earlier, the Belarusian authorities listed over a dozen initiatives, Telegram channels, online resources as ‘extremist formations’, including NEXTA, NEXTA-Live, LUXTA, CyberPartisans, CyberLeaks, My Country Belarus, and others.
In late July, the website of Belsat was declared ‘extremist’. Anyone who shares news of the ‘extremist’ portals or even a photo with their logo in social networks or even private messages may be punished. Moreover, the Belarusian security officers interpret the law so that they also punish for posts and messages made before the recognition of materials as ‘extremist’. Under Article 19.11, a fine from 290 to 870 rubles may be imposed on the defendant, as well as administrative arrest and confiscation of equipment which is recognised as ‘means for committing a crime’.