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Belarus Bans Sports Website As 'Extremist’


A screenshot of sports website Tribuna.com

A court in Belarus has banned a popular sports portal and labeled it as "extremist" amid an intensifying crackdown on media and civil society.

The Interior Ministry said on August 6 that Tribuna.com and all its social media channels were banned because its administrators posted "materials calling for extremist activity."

Sharing content from the sports website could be met with fines or jail time, the Interior Ministry said.

Access to Tribuna.com in Belarus was blocked last year in the wake of an August 2020 presidential election that gave strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka a disputed sixth term in office.

The creator of the Tribuna.com project, Dzmitry Navosha, is a vocal supporter of the pro-democracy protest movement challenging Lukashenka’s rule. He is also the founder of Sports.ru, a Russian sports website.

Commenting on the labeling, Navosha said on Twitter that his websites will continue their work.

"In general, avoid reading resources that are not recognized as extremist. This, of course, is now such a sign of quality," he said.

Lukashenka has accelerated a crackdown on activists, media, and civil society in recent weeks as the country approaches the one-year mark since the disputed presidential election sparked unprecedented protests and international condemnation of his government.

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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

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