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Leading world mass media write about blocking of Charter’97 and other independent websites

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Leading world mass media write about blocking of Charter’97 and other independent websites

AP, AFP, The Guardian, BBC inform about informational blockade in Belarus.

Foreign news online media and news agencies write that online media are blocked and online shops closed in our country, as well as about the currency crisis and panic of the population.

Thus, The Guardian reports that the government of Belarus is taking “draconian measures” after the national currency “was dragged down by the slide of the Russian ruble.”

“Belarus blocked online stores and news websites on Sunday, in an apparent attempt to stop a run on banks and shops as people rushed to secure their savings.” Government has forbidden price increases even for imported goods, and warned people against panic.

“Other websites blocked on Sunday were Charter97.org, BelarusPartisan.org, Udf.by and others with an independent news outlook. The blockage started on 19 December, when the government announced that purchases of foreign currency will be taxed 30% and told all exporters to convert half of their foreign revenues into the local currency.

The Belarussian ruble has lost about half of its value since the beginning of the year, having been hit hard by the depreciation of the Russian ruble since its economy is heavily dependent on its giant neighbour,” the newspaper writes.

The Guardian also mentions the website of the Belarusian black currency market prokopovi.ch, which resumed its work on December 19.

“While the central bank’s exchange rate on Sunday was 10,900 rubles to the dollar, rates on the website were up to 17,000.”

The Associated Press agency informs that several independent news websites were blocked in Belarus – “in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, where the government exerts close control of news media,” and where the last dictator of Europe rules since 1994.

“There was no official word on who was responsible for the blockages that began Sunday, but a statement from the private news agency BelaPAN said “the decision to block IP addresses can be made only by the authorities,” – the agency reports.

The situation with charter97.org is covered also by сообщают AFP, Yahoo.News, The Moscow Times, CBN News, Big News Network, The Sunday Times, San Francisco Gate, Greenfield Reporter, Vocativ, BBC and Deutsche Welle.

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