The Ministry of Information in Minsk announced on its website that access to several news portals on the Internet had been restricted.
DW director Peter Limbourg sees the Belarus government’s blocking of journalistic offers from DW and other media as an act of desperation: “The accusation against DW is absolutely ridiculous. Mr. Lukashenko has shown that he is fighting against his own people Will stop at nothing to maintain its power. The heavy use of independent media offers clearly shows that the people in Belarus no longer trust the state-controlled media. We protest against the blocking of our offers because the people there have a right to objective information the situation in their country. “
On Thursday, October 28, 2021, users first drew attention to social media that the DW news pages were no longer available from some providers. Since then, the government has apparently implemented the lock across the board. The mobile reception is also disturbed.
In a statement on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Information, Deputy Minister of Information Andrei Kunzewitsch announced that the Ministry had decided to restrict access to a number of news portals on the Internet, including DW.
The reason given was that DW spreads hyperlinks to materials on its website that would be classified as extremist on the basis of corresponding court orders: “Article 38 of the Media Act provides, among other things, for a direct ban on the dissemination of hyperlinks to such materials.” , says Kunzewitsch.
DW had significantly expanded its offers for Belarus in spring 2021. The German international broadcaster wants to support the civil society awakening in Belarus with the media.
Today, more people around the world than ever before can communicate with one another and have unrestricted access to information. It is sometimes overlooked that in many countries people face penalties for expressing their opinion and the free flow of information is prevented. DW has made the campaign against censorship one of its basic principles and is consistently committed to ensuring that people everywhere receive the information relevant to their living environment.
In many countries, government control of the infrastructure results in information being censored or completely blocked. DW has long been working on providing solutions to circumvent censorship. For example, thanks to the Tor project, people in countries whose governments block or restrict access to independent news can access DW content securely and anonymously. Websites that are accessible via Tor (The Onion Routing) can be recognized by the ‘.onion’ extension. A special browser such as the Firefox-based Tor browser is required to access the pages.
For the past ten years, DW has used the Psiphon censorship circumvention system, which works via a network of various proxy servers (intermediaries between a user and an online source). With this technology, users in countries like China and Iran have the opportunity to access information from reliable sources.