On October 20, 2020, the Central Court of Minsk declared the NEXTA-Live Telegram channel and the NEXTA logo extremist.
The court ruled that the NEXTA-Live Telegram channel “contains information products (videos, appeals and publications both on behalf of the channel’s editors and subscribers) with signs of extremist activity, namely: organization and public calls for the implementation of mass riots” … Here the materials published in the period from 9 to 11 August 2020 are meant.
An application to recognize “NEXTA” as extremist was submitted by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus (GUBOPiK of the Ministry of Internal Affairs).
Information about the recognition of the NEXTA-Live channel and the logo as extremist was confirmed by the press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Volha Chamadanava.
“In particular, the experts determined that from 9 to 11 August, NEXTA-Live posted information with signs of extremist activity (organization and public calls for mass riots). In this regard, the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus was ordered to include the specified Telegram channel and the NEXTA logo (digital watermark) in the republican list of extremist materials, to take measures to restrict access to information resources containing similar names and their distribution in the Belarusian segment,” she wrote in her Telegram channel.
The representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs also emphasized that the rebranding of the channel and the change of the logo will not become the basis for its exclusion from the list of extremist materials. Now the security forces will be actively looking for people disseminating prohibited information.
A spokesman for the Supreme Court in an interview with Podyom said that everyone who subscribes to NEXTA-Live will now be recognized as distributors of extremist materials:
“We, as representatives of the court, cannot assess the legal consequences of certain actions. But according to general practice, distribution means active actions, so reposting, sending to each other — yes, this is distribution. If there is a subscription to the NEXTA channel on your phone, you send each other, then yes, you are a distributor of extremist materials. Therefore, be careful about what you repost”.
The editors of NEXTA reacted ironically to this court decision and announced a call for proposals for a “new non-extremist” logo:
“For some reason, the court of the Central District of the Hero City of Minsk recognized our telegram channel NEXTA-Live and our logo as“ extremist materials ”. At the same time, the main news channel NEXTA and the satirical LUXTA are still in law.
Well, we would be happy to turn over this page, but since we work strictly within the framework of Belarusian legislation, we will now think about rebranding. All suggestions for a new ‘non-extremist’ logo and name can be sent to our bot. ”