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  • The Belarusian Association of Journalists Protests against Blocking Access to Social and Political Web-sites

    The blocking of access to the Charter’97 Web-site was the second decision of the Ministry of Information of Belarus within a month’s term to restrict access to popular informational Web-resources on the territory of Belarus. It should be reminded that another decision to disable access to the ‘Belarusian Partisan’ (belpartisan.org) Web-site was taken by the Ministry in December 2017.

    In both cas­es the deci­sions on restrict­ing free­dom of expres­sion were tak­en in a non­trans­par­ent way with­out a notice with indi­ca­tion of mate­ri­als, which were kept in mind as the ground for block­ing, as well with­out any expla­na­tion on the ways the mate­ri­als vio­lat­ed the Belaru­sian leg­is­la­tion. Court ver­dicts were absent in both cas­es, too.

    The state­ment on the Web-site of Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion that blames the ‘Charter’97’(charter97.org) Web-site for pub­lish­ing infor­ma­tion that is banned for dis­tri­b­u­tion is very broad and indef­i­nite.

    There­fore, we demand the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion to present:

     con­crete claims and mate­ri­als, which were used as a rea­son for block­ing access to the ‘Charter’97’(charter97.org) and ear­li­er ‘Belaru­sian Par­ti­san’ (belpartisan.org) Web-sites;

     pre­cise deci­sions of courts or oth­er bod­ies on restrict­ing access to the Web-sites.

    We regard the block­ing of access to ‘Charter’97’ and ‘Belaru­sian Par­ti­san’ (belpartisan.org) Web-sites as unac­cept­able restric­tion of the free­dom of expres­sion that gross­ly vio­lates arti­cles 33 and 34 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic of Belarus and the coun­try’s inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions.

    We would like to draw atten­tion to the absolute­ly non-trans­par­ent and non-judi­cial nature of tak­ing the deci­sions on block­ing access to the Web-sites by the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion of Belarus.

    We urge the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion to can­cel the deci­sion on block­ing the sociopo­lit­i­cal Web-sites Charter’97 and belpartisan.org and resume open access to them.

    Adopt­ed by the Board of Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists on Jan­u­ary 25, 2018

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