The news portals Nasha Niva and Naviny.by portals put a negative spin on the current situation in Belarus and discredited government bodies, including law enforcement agencies, the Belarusian authorities claim.
Amid post-election protests, the Ministry of Information ordered Internet service providers to block over 70 news portals and websites of civil society organisations, including those of Belsat TV, the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty, Euroradio, Naviny.by, Nasha Niva, in the territory of Belarus.
In a document published by Euroradio, Information Minister Ihar Lutski says that 9 articles by Naviny were disapproved by the inter-ministerial commission. The pieces dwelled, among others, upon the facts of torture in the notorious detention centres in Akrestsin street, as well as OMON officers’ blocking doors to the Red Cathedral, where peaceful protesters were trying to hide. In turn, Nasha Niva apparently fell into disfavour after exposing numerous cases of police abuse, torture and violence in its 8 articles. In addition, the officials might have been displeased with comparing Belarusian siloviki to Nazi raiders.
According to officials, such articles ‘artificially create tension and conflict between society and the state’ and ‘lower the incentive to work efficiently and do business’. Moreover, they ‘weaken the sense of patriotism and citizens’ readiness to defend independence with deadly force’, the document reads.