Mahiliou police unable to find online slanderers

2014 2014-05-29T13:44:27+0300 2014-05-29T13:44:27+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Valery Karankevich, a civil society activist from the town of Khotsimsk, Mahiliou region, received on May 28 a response to his complaint to the head of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee, in which the activist requested to reopen an administrative case in connection with the alleged failure to identify persons who humiliate his honor and dignity in an Internet publication.

The response, signed by the deputy police chief of the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee, Colonel Ivanou, says that the police cannot find people who posted on the Internet resource materials of libelous or defamatory content against Valery Karankevich humiliating his honor and dignity. The owner of this online resource is registered in Ukraine and it is not possible to identify the IP address of the person or persons, as the Interior Ministry’s letters remain unanswered, so they cannot be held liable.

On April 18, Valery Karankevich received a response from the police department of Khotsimsk saying that as a result of an inspection “in accordance with paragraph 2, Part 1, Art. 1026 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Republic of Belarus against unidentified persons a ruling has been issued to terminate the administrative case due to the failure to establish these individuals”.

According to the activist, he plans to continue to defend their honor and dignity.

“The police cannot find online slanderers and sign their impotence, how will they then find hackers and spies?” asks Valery Karankevich. “In the near future I’m going to Mahiliou to receive the necessary consultation from human rights defenders, and I will appeal against the answers from the Khotsimsk police department and the regional police department of Mahiliou. Otherwise, it turns out that each person can insult others with impunity on the Internet, someone has to make the police do their job.”

On the eve of the local elections, the website featured regular defamatory content against pro-democracy activists and independent candidates for deputies of local councils of Mahiliou region. After Valery Karankevich sent a complaint to the Regional Department of Internal Affairs, the online resource published fresh libelous comments on a number of pro-democracy activists. Probably, the people in charge of editing the website are convinced of their impunity.