Belarusian court declares opposition Telegram channel ‘Nexta’ extremist
The opposition Telegram channel Nexta Live and its logotype are now considered “extremist materials” in Belarus, reports the state news agency BelTA, citing a decision from the Central District Court in Minsk.
On October 20, the court ruled that videos published on the Telegram channel contained public calls inciting riots.
The petition to the court was filed by the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBOPiK). According to the court’s decision, the Belarusian information ministry should restrict access to the Nexta’s channels in Belarus.
Nexta is the most well-known Belarusian opposition resource. It has gained massive popularity amid the protests that emerged following the contested presidential elections on August 9. The channel was founded by Belarusian blogger Stepan Putilo (Stsiapan Putsila), who lives in Warsaw.
Nexta has two main Telegram channels: Nexta Live, which has 1.9 million subscribers, and Nexta, which has 900,000. Nexta’s team also runs a satirical channel called Luxta, which boasts nearly 200,000 followers.