Information Ministry’s inter-departmental commission tasked with identifying extremism in information products will start operating on 27 September.
This was announced by the deputy Information Minister Uladzimir Matusevich on 3 September at a press-conference in Minsk, BelaPAN reports.
“It is not the matter of some out-of-court decisions, - the official emphasized. – The commission is created as a way to extend the law on countering extremism. Extremist materials will be recognized as such in court, while the commission will provide an expert report as to whether there are or are not signs of extremism in these or those materials”.
The creation of a special expert commission, which will be tasked with assessing whether the issued information products have an extremism component, was foreseen by the resolution of the Council of Ministers No 810 as of 21 August 2014. The document foresees the creation of a system of expert commissions in every Belarusian region. The state-level commission within the Information Ministry will also carry out the functions of an expert commission for the city of Minsk.
It is assumed that the commission will comprise of competent experts in the fields of philosophy, psychology, philology, sociology, as well as representatives of state administration institutions that counter extremism, which will allow for “comprehensive and competent consideration of materials in order to discover whether they contain signs of extremism”.
The commission will have the right to request and receive the necessary documents, materials and information, necessary to carry out the expert examinations. It will also be able to invite to its sittings representatives of state institutions, organizations, public associations and individual entrepreneurs. If necessary, various experts and public figures, who are not part of the commission, will be involved in expert examinations.
The grounds for holding an expert examination of information products will be appeals from state institutions, organizations, public associations and individual entrepreneurs, as well as resolutions of state institutions and officials, who have the respective authority.
The conclusions of the expert commission could be appealed against in court, and the conclusions of regional commissions could be appealed against in court or the state-level commission.