NEXTA-Live Telegram Channel And NEXTA Logo Deemed Extremist

Information Telegram channel NEXTA-Live (t.me/nexta_live) and the NEXTA logo have been deemed extremist. The press service of the Supreme Court confirmed this to 42.TUT.BY.

The website of the Supreme Court says that on October 20, 2020, by a decision of the court of the Central District of Minsk, the information channel of the internet messenger Telegram NEXTA-Live (t.me/nexta_live) and the NEXTA logo were deemed extremist.

NEXTA Telegram channel founder Stepan Putilo

According to the court, extremist materials contain information products (videos, appeals and publications both on behalf of the channel’s editorial board and subscribers) with signs of extremist activity, namely: organization and public calls for the implementation of mass riots.

The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus needs to include the information channel of the internet messenger Telegram – NEXTA-Live (t.me/nexta_live) and the NEXTA logo (digital watermark) in the republican list of extremist materials, take measures to restrict access to information resources containing similar names, and their distribution.

The court decision is subject to immediate execution.

What does it mean for users?

Press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Olga Chemodanova explained that “experts concluded that from August 9 to 11, NEXTA-Live posted information with signs of extremist activity (organization and public calls for mass riots).”

“From now on, publishing or posting, including by reposting, information with NEXTA or with NEXTA-Live logo entails administrative responsibility for the distribution, production, storage, transportation of information products containing calls for extremist activities or promoting such activities (part 2 Art.17.11 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus),” the statement reads.

According to article 17.11 of the Administrative Code, the fine for citizens is 10-50 basic units, for individual entrepreneurs – 50-100 basic units, for legal entities – 100-500 basic units. As of July 2020, a basic unit in Belarus is BYN 25,50 (~$10 or €9).

The Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption noted that the rebranding of the telegram channel and the change of the logo will not exclude it from the list of extremist materials. Now operatives are aimed at identifying the distributors of prohibited information. Besides, the police  continue to collect materials, recording the facts of extremism, in other internet resources and telegram channels to include them in the ban list.