Reporters Without Borders are concerned over the decree on Internet censorship signed by Lukashenka.
We remind that March 12 is World Day Against Cyber Censorship. The day proposed to be observed by Reporters Without Borders to attract attention of the public to the problem of free access to the Internet worldwide.
The 2009 report on freedom of speech on the Internet has recently been issued. 12 countries, which restrict access to information on the Internet, have been put on the “enemies of the Internet” list.
The list includes Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. According to the organization, the authorities of the abovementioned countries partially allow access to information on the Internet.
Belarus, Russia , Australia, Bahrain, Eritrea, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates are in the “Countries Under Surveillance” list.
Reporters Without Borders stresses that cyber-freedom in Belarus is in danger due to ALyaksnadr Lukashenka’s decree on Internet censorship which is to take force in summer 2010.
The authors of the report remind about Lukashenka’s intention to put an end to anarchy on the Internet and refer to China’s experience in this area. This issue is especially important ahead of the presidential elections, when the freedom of speech and freedom of Internet can threaten the authorities.
The Decree on the National Segment of the Internet takes effect on July 1. It brought on criticism by the Belarusian media community and international human rights organizations, including OSCE. Independent experts think Lukashenka’s decree is aimed at blocking opposition websites during the electoral campaign.