Belarus bans oldest newspaper over alleged extremism

Belarus’s oldest newspaper, Nasha Niva, has been banned after the federal government accused the publication of extremism, the Related Press reported.

On the a hundred and fifteenth anniversary of its founding on Tuesday, Nasha Niva was outlawed by the nation’s central district court docket upon a request from the Ministry of Data, in response to the AP. 

Based on the ruling, those that publish or repost Nasha Niva content material will face jail sentences of as much as seven years. 

The newspaper coated the anti-government protests that erupted final yr after President Alexander Lukashenko gained his sixth time period within the August 2020 election. The opposition denounced Lukashenko’s victory as rigged.

Belarusian authorities responded to the following protests with a nationwide crackdown, which led to greater than 35,000 residents being arrested and hundreds extra crushed by police, the AP reported.

Andrei Bastunets, head of the Belarusian Affiliation of Journalists, in contrast the nation’s present state of affairs to that of a number of the world’s most censored nations. 

“The authorities are persevering with to destroy Belarus’ unbiased media, calling everybody extremist,”  Bastunets mentioned, by way of the AP. “The state of affairs in Belarus is worse than in Cuba or Iran and is getting near North Korean requirements.”

Authorities blocked the web newspaper in July and arrested its chief editor, Yahor Martsinovich, and journalist Andrey Skurko.

Twenty-nine Belarusian journalists, together with Martsinovich and Skurko, are in custody as they serve jail sentences or await trial, the AP famous. 

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