EFE.- The president of Belarus, Alexandr Lukashenko, signed a law today that prohibits the press from reporting live on opposition protests not authorized by the regime.
“Real-time coverage of demonstrations that violate the established order, for dissemination or propaganda purposes, is prohibited. This prohibition will be extended to journalists, ”reported the Telegram channel associated with the president’s press service.
The norm excludes reporting on requests to organize demonstrations, but emphasizes that any “massive activity” must only be carried out with the permission of local authorities.
In addition, it established that journalists may not «act as organizers or participants in massive events» and at the same time exercise their profession.
In particular, the dissemination of public opinion polls on socio-political issues «carried out without due accreditation» and the dissemination of links to web pages with «prohibited information» is prohibited.
The attorney general and regional prosecutors will have the right to block web pages that contain «propaganda of extremist activities or calls to carry out this type of activity», as the Belarusian authorities describe the opposition protests.
The law also provides for the withdrawal of credentials from journalists who disseminate this information or work in media that have reported on the protests.
After the opposition demonstrations that broke out after the presidential elections last August, in which Lukashenko was declared the winner with 81% of the votes in his favor and described as fraudulent by the opposition, Belarus was the scene of massive peaceful protests.
The Belarusian authorities violently suppressed these demonstrations and, in particular, have been dedicated to limiting the work of journalists.
Hundreds of journalists have been arrested and almost a dozen have been in prison since the outbreak of the protests in the former Soviet republic, which is why it has been listed as the most dangerous place in Europe for the press by Reporters Without Borders.
This Sunday, Lukashenko’s crusade against the press marked a new milestone by forcing a Ryanair plane traveling from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk in order to arrest journalist and dissident Roman Protasevich, an incident condemned by the international community.