A decree signed by President Lukashenko has given government agencies the authority to block LGBT websites which are releaying “extremist information” however, in the light of next year’s President election many sees the law as a way to shut down any disturbing opposition websites. The law also comes into force in Belarus after the inernet has become increasingly popular and widely accessible. The law demands that all news media, including online publications have be approved by the government. It also requires all providers to register servers, personal computers, and other “devices used to connect to the Internet,” and to collect the personal details of Web surfers.
The editors of the main LGBT websites in Belarus have already registered new domain names outside Belarus in fears that a new law would prevent them to be accessible via their usual .by adress.
“The adoption of this law is one thing but another thing is how the information will be used” says Alexander Paluyan, Chief Editor of the portal Gay.By “From July 1, information on those who visited websites will go to public services and can be used at their own discretion. Because many Belarusian conceal their sexual orientation, an increased control over the internet might simply lead that many gays will stop to surf gay websites” he further said.
“For sure, this new law violates our human rights” says Sergey Androsenko, Editor of GayBelarus.By and Organizer of this year’s banned Slavic Gay Pride March in Minsk. “Gays and Lesbians have the right to privacy like any other citizen, and they have the right to access freely any information something that this new law will prevent.”
GayBelarus.By is now also acessible via GayBelarus.Org and Gay.By is also accessible