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Belarus bans access to 160 anarchist, neo-fascist media communities since 2016


According to BelTA since 2016, thanks to coordinated preventive measures, Belarus has banned access to 160 anarchist and neo-fascist media communities, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at the opening of the international high-level conference Preventing and Countering Terrorism in the Digital Age" on 9 October.

The internet and social networks offer terrorists new and, in fact, unlimited opportunities to propagate extremism, recruit supporters and coordinate their criminal activities. Thanks to coordinated preventive measures, including through blocking destructive information content, Belarus has limited access to 160 media communities of anarchist and neo-fascist structures, 100 information and audiovisual materials, and 10 websites since 2016, Vladimir Makei said. According to Vladimir Makei, the internet has influenced the process of rapid and uncontrolled radicalization of religious views of some Belarusian citizens. A total of 100 neophytes were identified in Belarus, he said. Vladimir Makei cited a situation that occurred in 2016. One of such neophytes was arrested in Belarus and prosecuted for preparing an act of terrorism. Under the influence of radical websites the Belarusian citizen studied the instructions and started manufacturing an improvised explosive device from publicly available components. As a preventive measure Belarus has also stepped up efforts to identify potential terrorists among people who are exposed to destructive propaganda on the internet but who have not yet come into direct contact with recruiters of international terrorist organizations. In addition, work is underway to localize the activities of neo-fascist groups and anarchist cells that work to recruit new members by means of promoting their ideologies online. The activities of the international right-wing extremist neo-Nazi group Misanthropic Division were stopped in 2015.

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