legalize.by website blocked in Belarus
Legalize Belarus website (https://legalize.by) was blocked on May 17th in Belarus by decision of the Minister of Information (Kyky.org, Naša Niva, Radio Liberty, Belaruspartisan, Euroradio). In the official notification “propaganda of marijuana use” was mentioned as a reason. The decision was made after the Ministry of Information received a letter from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Euroradio, Radio Liberty), which is the most influential organisation in the country, and the only one standing for keeping the law unchanged.
Soon after the order people in Belarus were not able to reach the website and moved to another domain: https://legalizebelarus.org/. It did not help though. Providers included in the blocking list every website that is placed on FastComet server de3.fcomet.com (184.108.40.206). A member of the hosting support team told us that around 300 website can be hosted on the server with this IP-address. legalizebelarus.org is hosted on the same server and is hardly accessible for Belarusian users.
We asked the Ministry of Information to provide specific text or visual excerpts from our website that can be regarded as “propaganda of marijuana use”, so that we can fix the website, but they sent us to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, though Ministry of Information formally is the organisation responsible for blocking of websites (Radio Liberty). Ministry of Internal Affairs remain the highest authoritarian power in Belarus that makes decisions outlawed and can not be punished.