Belarus bans sports website as ‘extremist’

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A Belarusian court banned a popular sports portal and called it “extremist” amid intensifying repression against the media and civil society.

The Home Office said on August 6 that Tribuna.com and all of its social media channels were banned because its administrators posted “materials calling for extremist activity.”

Sharing content from the sports website could result in fines or jail time, the Home Office said.

Access to Tribuna.com in Belarus was blocked last year following an August 2020 presidential election that gave strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka a contested sixth term.

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

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

“In general, avoid reading material that is not recognized as extremist. This is of course now such a sign of quality,” he said.

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

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