Belarus declares DW Belarus an 'extremist organization' | DW's press releases | DW | 29.04.2024
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Belarus declares DW Belarus an 'extremist organization'

The Belarusian Ministry of Interior has classified DW Belarus as an "extremist organization" leading to a ban on DW content on all platforms across the country.

In March 2022, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Belarus’ Ministry of Interior labeled the content of DW Belarus as “extremist”. This decision has now led to a complete ban on DW in the country, extending to all platforms, including DW website, YouTube channel, Telegram channel, and social media channels of DW Russian.

The Belarusian Ministry of Interior accuses DW Belarus of threatening national sovereignty and public security, as well as discrediting and insulting officials. 

DW Director General Peter Limbourg has criticized the move by the Belarusian government: “We strongly condemn the decision of the Belarusian Ministry of Interior. The accusations are baseless and do not reflect the reality of the work of our Belarusian editorial team.”

Limbourg: “This decision underscores one key fact: the Belarusian regime fears independent media and does everything to deny the people in Belarus access to free information. They are afraid of independent citizens who can form their own opinions on events in Belarus, Europe, and the world. We will not be intimidated. Instead, this ban motivates us to work harder to ensure that everyone can access our content and receive free information.”

The Belarusian government’s classification against DW carries serious implications for editorial work: Any cooperation with DW in Belarus can now be deemed a criminal offense, subjecting individuals who share information with the editorial team to lengthy prison sentences.

DW’s Belarusian content remains available despite the ban onYouTube and Telegram, while its Russian offerings can be accessed through platforms like Facebook, Instagram and X. Users also have the option to use censorship circumvention tools such as the DW app, Psiphon and VPNs to access DW content while staying anonymous.

EINSCHRÄNKUNG DW Personenfoto | Corporate Communications | Carla Hagemann

Carla Hagemann

Corporate Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications


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