11 December 2018, Tuesday, 13:26
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Photo-Fact: Poster "Freedom To Charter-97" At Rally in Minsk

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PHOTO: SVABODA.ORG

Activists demanded to unblock the independent website in Belarus.

The rally of Solidarity and Liberation near the Park Chaliuskintsau metro station in Minsk at 13.00, initiated by Mikalai Statkevich, ended up with brutal detentions.

Rally participants were going to lay flowers to the monument to Soviet soldiers in Talbukhin Street, and afterwards to the memorial cross for victims of Stalin repressions, which is in the Chaliuskintsau park.

Rally participants reminded about freedom of speech in Belarus. One of the protesters came out with a poster "Speak without Fear! Away with Censorship in the Media! Freedom to Charter-97!".

We remind that On April 19, the so-called Belarusian "house of representatives" adopted scandalous amendments to the Law on Mass Media, which totally destroy the freedom of speech in Belarus. The amendments suggest the registration of Internet resources as media (they will be called "online publications"). Employees of unregistered Internet resources will not be classified as journalists, will have no right for the obtaining and protection of the source of information, and will be regarded as demonstrants during mass actions.

Also, the compulsory identification of those who post materials on Internet resources (not only on online publications), including commentators on forums, come into use. That is, editors of informational resources working in Belarus will be forced to give away the data of their journalists and readers, commenting the articles, to the special services. Also, there is a possibility of blocking social networks and limiting access to a resource on an out-of-court basis.

Experts call these amendments "a crack-down on independent journalism" and "a new turn of the screw."

On the eve of the adoption of amendments to the law on the media in Belarus, the largest independent website, Charter97.org, was blocked.