Mahiliou: Local guide Aleh Dzyachkou arrested for 15 days for sharing Belsat materials on web

Aleh Dzyachkou, Chairman of the Mahiliou branch of the Belarusian Language Society, has been sentenced to administrative arrest. He was accused of ‘distributing extremist information’, the Telegram channel MAYDAY reports.

Аleh Dzyachkou. Photo: MAYDAY / Telegram

Aleh Dzyachkou was detained on August 9. The day before, security officers searched his house and seize his computer.

When checking up on Dzyachkou’s social media profiles, the policemen found out that he had reposted several Belsat materials. The defendant did not admit his guilt and noted that he had shared the content before the channel was recognised as ‘extremist’.

But judge Viktoryia Palyakova found Aleh guilty of violating Part 2 of Art. 19.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘distribution, production, storage, transportation of information products containing calls to extremist activities or promoting such activities’) and sentenced him to 15 days in jail. In addition, the judge ruled to confiscate the computer from which, according to the police, the reposts had been made.

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As reported earlier, the website and social networks of Belsat were declared extremist by Chyhunachny district court of Homiel on July 27. The decision was based on the inspection conducted by the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption (notorious GUBOPiK/GUBAZiK) in Homiel region. The materials were not specified.

Under the Belarusian law, the distribution of ‘extremist’ works (i.e. sharing and posting on the Internet) is prohibited in the country; one may get a fine of a few days of arrest for violating of the regulation. The access to the websites on which such materials were posted must also be blocked. If found during searches, the publications deemed extremist (for example, books) are to be confiscated and subsequently destroyed; their holders may face administrative charge. At the same time, the law does not prohibit subscribing to such resources, so one can continue to read and watch Belsat.

In the wake of the outbreak of large-scale post-election protests in the summer of 2020, the Lukashenka regime started to took aim at ‘opposition’ Telegram channels and non-state media outlets. Since then, they have blocked access to Belsat.eu, TUT.BY, Nasha Niva (nn.by), Euroradio, Kyky.org, and many other online resources in the country.

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