Updated at 18:32,10-08-2020

OAC lies again. Why is Charter'97 website blocked in Belarus?


The deputy head of the Operational and Analytical Centre doesn't know why the Belarusian authorities blocked access to our website.

The high-ranking official preferred to play the fool and said Charter'97 and Belorusski Partizan websites were blocked in Belarus over "copyright and journalism ethics problems".

Uladzimir Rabavolau, the deputy head of the Operational and Analytical Centre under the Aegis of Lukashenka said it in an interview with RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

"As far as I know, Charter'97 and Belorusski Partizan websites had problems with copyright and journalism ethics. All information about these resources is available in appropriate bodies. We don't make lists," Uladzimir Rabavolau said asking Radio Svaboda's question about the "blacklists". "There's a clear procedure of appealing. They may appeal in the order prescribed by the law. If they have fixed their faults, they will have no problems. This is my personal opinion."

It would be good if Belarusian Internet chasteners knew the "law" they set to struggle dissent in Belarus. It should be reminded that the State Inspection on Telecommunication restricted access to charter97.org in March 2011 after the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office released an order on March 23, 2011, on restricting access to Belarusian independent news sites Charter'97 and Belorusski Partizan. The websites were blocked on the ground of the so called law on mass events in the Republic of Belarus. We appeared to have violated part 2 of article 8 "The organiser (or organisers) of a mass event and other persons shall not announce the date, place and time of its holding, produce and distribute leaflets, posters and other materials until the mass event is permitted". The authorities perhaps meant articles about preparations for Freedom Day rally in 2011.

Uladzimir Rabavolau visited the OSCE conference "Internet 2013 – Shaping policies to advance media freedom" some days ago. The representative of the Belarusian Internet chasteners told the Europeans about the "right of the Belarusians to have access to information guaranteed by the Constitution" and noted "Belarus in no case restricts freedom of expression".