Lawtrend informs Special Rapporteurs on blocking KYKY.ORG
The Legal Transformation Center Lawtrend has sent a message to Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; Miklós Haraszti, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, and David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to inform them about blocking access to a website KYKY.ORG and urged to take all possible measures within their mandates, including but not limited to:
- drawing attention to and influencing relatively new and developing practice of blocking access to independent online media in Belarus according to the repressive provisions of the Law on Mass Media;
- initiating an international legal assessment of the Belarusian legislation which stipulates restrictions on access to websites for Belarusian users;
- insisting on country visits in order to assess the working conditions for journalists in Belarus.
“We consider the arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Belarusian authorities on the work of independent media in Belarus to be unacceptable. Current procedure of blocking access to online resources lacks legal predictability and allows authorities to pursue illegitimate aims. Recent actions by the state violate obligations according to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are not consistent with the obligations under OSCE treaties, says the appeal.
A communication published on the official website of the Ministry of Information on June 17 said that access to the website KYKY.ORG was limited to all Belarusian users in accordance with para. 1.3, Article 38 of the Law on Mass Media, as the website could allegedly harm the national interests of the Republic of Belarus. On June 18, several Internet providers blocked access to the website. This was the first officially recognized case of blocking access to online media in Belarus, in accordance with the new law on mass media.