The paper and online versions of the interview granted by Belarusian opposition politician Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya to media outlet Intex Press as well as a corresponding video have been recognised as ‘extremist materials’ at the suit of Baranavichy interdistrict prosecutor’s office, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reports.
According to the prosecutors, the interview contains ‘information aimed at inciting political, ideological and social hostility’.
On April 21, officers of Baranavichy city police department interrogated Intex Press editor-in-chief Uladzimir Yanukevich for four and a half hours. Two protocols were drawn upon him for allegedly violating the law on mass media under Part 4 (‘distributing prohibited information”) and Part 5 ( ‘distributing information by unregistered resources’) of the Article 23.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences. On the back of the questioning, he was tried and fined (580 rubles).
Under the Belarusian law, the distribution of ‘extremist’ works is prohibited in the country; the access to the websites on which they were posted must also be blocked. At that, the content of information products included in the republican list of extremist materials is not subject to announcement. If found during searches, the publications deemed extremist are to be confiscated and subsequently destroyed; their holders may face administrative charge.