18 January 2018, Thursday, 20:40

Minsk residents about Charter'97 blocking: They are closed for writing truth

Minsk residents say why our website is being blocked in Belarus.

Beltelecom, the national monopoly telecom provider, continues to block access to charter97.org. The company still declines to give any comments. Belsat's journalists ask Minsk residents to explain the blocking of charter97.org:

– Maybe because it is a pro-opposition website.

– They authorities don't like to hear what they don't want to hear.

– They don't want people to know an alternative point of view.

– This is the policy of the state, perhaps.

– They write the truth, so the authorities close them.

– Someone doesn't like it.

Belsat's journalists recall that charter97.org is known for its consistent criticism of the authorities, which provoked repressions against the website: fines, raids, beatings, arrests and killings.

The website editor-in-chief, Natallia Radzina, is convinced there's a Russian trace in the current blocking. “The blocking of charter97.org in Belarus is a display of cowardice of Lukashenka, who yielded to Russia. Russia seems to plan more actions in relation to Ukraine. Being the Kremlin's reliable ally, Lukashenka will help Russia. In this particular case, they join their efforts against freedom of speech,” she says.

Independent journalist Andrzej Poczobut from Hrodna, who also faced repressions for his professional activities, also for his articles on charter97.org, agrees with Radzina. “The Belarusian authorities will try to create a virtual Belarus that would reflect the real one, with intimidated people unable to criticise anything,” he said.

Beltelecom blocked access to our website in Belarus on August 14. A part of Belarusian users now have access to the site due to efforts of our support team. This is a temporary success. We expect a response from the Belarusian authorities after the weekend.