Belarusian authorities brand tut.by media portal extremist

The tut.by media portal and its analogues on social media and messengers have been branded extremist, Belarusian Interior Ministry spokesperson Olg Chemodanova said on Telegram on Friday.

"The tut.by media resource and its analogues on social media and messengers have been branded extremist. This decision was made by the Tsentralny District Court in Minsk today, August 13, at the request of the Interior Ministry," Chemodanova said.

"An expert commission came to the conclusion that this information resource serves as a platform for propaganda of extremist activities aimed at inciting social hostility or discord, organizing mass unrest, and fanning political and ideological hatred," she said.

"The ban also applies to the tut. by and zerkalo.io Internet resources, their analogues on Telegram, Viber, and Twitter, their pages on Instagram, Facebook, VK, and TikTok, and their mobile applications for smart phones," Chemodanova said.

From now on, the publication (re-posting) of information from these Internet resources will entail administrative liability up to arrest, she said.

The tut.by web portal was blocked on May 18 for publishing illegal information, and the company's office was visited by officers of the Financial Investigations Department.

Tut.by officials have been indicted on criminal counts of largescale tax evasion. According to law enforcement officers, the earnings received by the company, a resident of High-Tech Park, did not come from activity allowed to the park's residents. Tut.by lost the tax benefits envisaged for High-Tech Park residents on May 18.

Currently, 15 tut.by employees are in detention facilities or under house arrest.

Tut.by is the largest news portal in Belarus. The online media outlet tut.by was registered in January 2019, after working without media status since its founding in the year 2000. The Minsk Economic Court deprived tut.by of media status in December 2020.

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