The Charter’97 is the undisputed leader of resistance to Russia’s informational aggression.
The Belarusian opposition leaders (including Stanislau Shushkevich, who signed the Bielaviezha agreement) addressed for help to President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister of the country Mateusz Moravetski, asking to support the work of the independent information website Charter97.org, which editors’ office is located in Warsaw today due to the repressions by the Belarusian authorities. The website is in a difficult financial situation and may be forced to terminate its activity, Polskie Radio writes.
“We appeal to you as the leaders of the Polish state with a request to assist in supporting the Charter-97 Internet portal. We ask for your help in order to preserve this unique media that effectively opposes Russian propaganda in Belarus. We are sure that this will serve the security and independence of not only the Belarusian, but also the Polish people,” stated in the letter, signed by the first leader of independent Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich, head of the human rights center Viasna Ales Bialiatski, leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Co-Chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party Pavel Seviarynets, leader of the trade union of the radio-electronic industry workers (REP Trade Union) Henadz Fiadynich, and coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign Yauhen Afnahel.
“Today Belarus is in a complex situation. Our country is in the Russia dominated information space as a result of the connivance and assistance of the ruling regime. A powerful flow of Moscow propaganda is continually coming down on the Belarusian society.
The legendary Charter-97 is the undisputed leader of resistance to information aggression in the Internet. It’s the first and, despite the regime's attempts to block it, the most popular Belarusian social and political website. However, now the support from Poland is reduced to the extent, which makes it impossible for the editorial board to continue with its mission. The loss of the key stronghold, which confronts informational aggression in the Web at the time, when the threat to our independence increases dramatically, can have dire consequences for our country,” stated in the letter.
Сharter97.org is presented in three language versions - English, Belarusian and Russian. Last year, the website celebrated its 20th anniversary. In Belarus, the editorial board of Charter’97 was repeatedly subjected to repression and searches. Editor-in-Chief Natallia Radzina was arrested by the KGB after the 2010 elections. She was forced to flee the country. Later she was joined by a part of the editorial board.
Founder of the Charter97.org site Aleh Biabenin was found hanged during the election campaign of 2010 - his friends do not believe that this was a natural death.
Charter’97 has always been inconvenient for the Kremlin, as well as for Aliaksandr Lukashenka, which is why the site was blocked in Belarus at the beginning of last year. Nevertheless, the website remained so popular that it won a very large part of the audience. You can bypass the blocking using proxy servers. In its resolution, the European Parliament called on the Lukashenka authorities to unblock the website Charter97.org, as well as to stop repressions against independent media.
After 2014, Charter’97 has paid a lot of attention not only to the situation in Belarus, but also to Ukraine, Russia and the policies of the West, which is very important, since the Russian propaganda works hard in Belarus.