14 Oct. 2021 10:05 o’clock
Belarus is introducing criminal prosecution for following extremist channels and chats on social networks. Subscribers face a prison sentence of up to seven years.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday that all subscribers to messenger services and social networks classified as extremist can also be classified as extremists and as such can be held accountable. You face a prison sentence of up to seven years. In this regard, the Telegram channel of the Belarusian main authority for the fight against organized crime said:
“This means that subscribers to extremist Telegram channels and chats as members of an extremist group according to § 361-1 StGB (up to seven years imprisonment) are prosecuted.”
The Council of Ministers passed the relevant ordinance on October 12th. It makes it possible to declare “unregistered groups of citizens who engage in extremist activities, including in messenger services and social networks”, to be extremist formations.
Over 100 telegram channels are currently classified as extremist in Belarus. Nexta Live is the biggest of them. It has over 980,000 subscribers and is an important platform for the opposition. He sharply criticizes the policies of President Alexander Lukashenko and has reported extensively on the mass protests after the presidential election in 2020.
more on the subject – Lukashenko in CNN interview: “Only weak people can take revenge”