19 March 2018, Monday, 10:05

Popular Blogger Undergoes Criminal Proceedings Over Insult Of Lukashenka


The Minsk apartment of the creator of the Nexta video channel was searched.

Stsiapan Sviatlou is a 19-year-old blogger from Minsk, the author of one of the most popular blogs on YouTube Nexta, dedicated to social and political life in Belarus. In the evening of February 22, a search was carried out in his parents' apartment in the framework of the criminal case under art. 386 of the Criminal Code - "an insult to the president," the Belsat TV reports.

Now Stsiapan is in Poland, where he studies at the university. Only his mother Sviatlana was in the Minsk apartment at the time of the search.

"In the evening two people came to my mother, one was wearing the uniform of the Investigatory Committee, the second was in civilian clothes. They did not tell their names, they did not show any ID. They showed only a warrant for the search and said that some citizen complained about insulting remarks about the president, which allegedly sounded on my channel, " - Stsiapan said.

According to the blogger, the law enforcers confiscated a laptop and a small video camera, and made a report of the search. At the same time, they did not give Stsiapan's mother any copies of the documents and did not disclose the procedural status of Stsiapan at the moment.

NEXTA has over 100,000 subscribers

Stsiapan Sviatlou (Sviatlou is a pseudonym) started actively operating his YouTube channel in April 2017 - at that time, the information wave of "non-parasites protests" was still going on in Belarus. The guy began to create primarily informational videos under the heading "Well, the news!". The main topics were Decree #3, police violence, abuse of power. Almost every video contained criticism against Lukashenka. When creating his videos, Stsiapan often used the video materials of independent media, especially Belsat, with which he cooperates.

"I do not understand where they found an insult. Other bloggers sometimes speak more sharply. In addition, I have never been engaged in political activities, was not an activist, did not fall under administrative prosecution. I think this pressure is connected with the rapid growth of subscribers of the channel, " - the guy is perplexed.

Indeed, the number of NEXTA subscribers has already exceeded 100 thousand people - a good figure for the Belarusian Internet space. According to Stsiapan, the authorities could "catch on" one of the latest videos - it is about "a case that Lukashenka disclosed personally."

"Recently I stayed in Minsk for almost two weeks and none of the law-enforcers or investigators addressed me, they let me leave the country. I also can't but wonder, what citizen complained about my channel? Maybe the infamous Frau A.? "- Stsiapan says.

When asked why he decided to keep a political blog, the guy says:

"After all, this is in demand, as people in Belarus are getting less and less information sources: they blocked the Charter, they pressed the Belarusian Partisan."

It has been impossible to receive a comment from the Investigatory Committee so far, as the press-center of the institution does not respond to calls.

We remind, on December 14 the editor's office of the Belarusian Partisan reported the blocking of the website. According to the statement of the Ministry of Information, it was blocked due to the spread of "banned information". At the same time, it was not specified what information was actually meant.

This year on January 24, the Ministry of Information blocked the website of the Charter'97 for the same reason - a violation of the law "On Mass Media."