Viasna resources added to republican list of extremist materials
On February 11, a number of Viasna resources appeared on the republican list of extremist materials.
The list was updated with 21 web pages of the human rights center and sources related to it. In particular, the page about Viasna on the website of Front Line Defenders organization, the Viasna tag on Reform.by website, as well as the Russian-language version of the main page of Spring96.org website were considered “extremist”. The Belarusian and English versions are not on the list.
Previously, the court of the Čychunačny District Court of Homieĺ recognized the content of Viasna Telegram channel and social networks as “extremist materials”. This decision was made by judge Illia Svirydau.
Viasna lawyer Pavel Sapelka commented on the recognition of Viasna publications as extremist materials:
“We will find out exactly which means of our communication with the audience are recognized as extremist if changes are made to the National list of extremist materials. But, I hope, the recognition of our publications as extremist will not harm our volunteers and our work. Volunteers are not engaged in the production of our information products.
The state has been doing this for a long time: trying to silence lawyers and the media. I remember the times when I myself worked as a lawyer: the court was not so worried about what one says during a trial, as much as what one says in the media after the trial.
But we will not stop our work, Viasna will continue its activities. We began to look for new, more flexibile ways of work a while ago, when COVID pandemics started.”