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Belarus Passes ‘Fake News’ Legislation

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The National Assembly of Belarus has passed a ‘fake news’ law that many see as a further attempt to silence political and media opposition in the former Soviet republic.

The National Assembly on June 14 voted on the second and final reading of the draft amendments that the government says will enable it to prosecute people suspected of spreading “false” information on the Internet.

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“The adoption of the legislation will facilitate the efficient provision of information security and the enforcement of citizens’ constitutional right to receive full, accurate, and timely information,” said Valentina Razhanets, the deputy chair of the assembly’s Commission for Human Rights, Ethnic Relations, and Media, reported RFERL.

“In April, lawmakers gave preliminary approval to the amendments that would require that authors of all posts and comments in online forums be identified and that comments be moderated by website owners. It would allow for social networks and other sites to be blocked if found in violation,” added RFERL.

The country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, is named by many as ‘Europe’s last dictator’.

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