Brest: 12 protocols drawn upon local historian for sharing Belsat content on web

Ihar Baranouski, a Brest-base local history expert and editor of the newspaper Tsarkva (Church), is facing trial over sharing content made by Belsat on the Internet.

On July 27 (the day when Belsat’s articles were recognised as ‘extremist’ in Belarus), Baranouski posted two links to Belsat on his social media profiles. One link led to a video of the interview with Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and the other contained a banner reporting the number of political prisoners in the country.

At first, two protocols were drawn upon the local lore specialist under Part 2 of Art. 19.11 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘distribution, production, storage, transportation of information products that contain calls for extremist activities or promote such activities’). On October 28, the court sent the protocols for revision. The police ‘reviewed’ the two documents and made another ten protocols over Baranouski’s reposting Belsat’s stories in July, including for reposts made before listing Belsat’s materials as ‘extremist’.

Today the Leninski district court of Brest has failed to deliver any ruling in the case of Ihar Baranouski and sent it for revision again.

Belarusian authorities put Belsat on country’s list of extremist materials

Earlier this year, the websites of Belsat, TUT.by, Tribuna, reform.by, Deutsche Welle, Novy Chas, Current Time and others were recognised as ‘extremist’. 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.

Thus, 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’.

On November 3, the Belarusian Interior Ministry reported that ‘the citizens who are ‘united with the help of Belsat Internet resources’ were recognised as an extremist formation and ‘banned from conducting their activity in the Republic of Belarus’.

Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy: Recognition of Belsat and its audience as ‘extremist formation’ is intimidation

belsat.eu

News