Telegram channel and Nexta logo recognized as extremist in Belarus

The telegram channel Nexta Live and its logo are recognized as extremist materials on the territory of Belarus. This was reported by the state agency “Belta” with reference to the decision of the Central District Court of Minsk.

On October 20, the court ruled that the videos posted on the Telegram channel contained public calls for mass riots.

An application to the court was filed by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to a court decision, the country’s information ministry should restrict access to the Nexta channel in Belarus.

As the press secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs Olga Chemodanova explained , the publication, including the repost of “information with the Nexta or Nexta-Live logo” will entail liability under part 2 of Article 17.11 of the Administrative Code.

The maximum sanction under this article for individuals is administrative arrest or a fine of 50 basic units (the basic amount is 23 Belarusian rubles); for legal entities – a fine of 500 basic units.

In the telegram channel Nexta Live, after the news of the court’s decision, they promised to “think about rebranding”; two hours later the channel was renamed “Nehta Live”.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs noted that “the rebranding of the telegram channel and the change in the logo will not become the basis for its exclusion from the list of extremist materials.”

Nexta is the most famous Belarusian opposition resource that has gained massive popularity amid protests against the results of the 2020 presidential elections in the country. It was founded by Stepan Putilo, who lives in Warsaw.

Nexta has two main Telegram channels: 1.9 million subscribers to  Nexta Live ,  900 thousand subscribers to  Nexta . There is also the satirical channel Luxta , which has almost 200 thousand subscribers.

(C)MEDUZA 2020

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