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Founder of Nexta said he and his colleagues received numerous threats

25.05.2021, 15:30
RAdio Svoboda
RAdio Svoboda

Nexta founder Stepan Putylo said that after Roman Protasevich was detained, their editorial office received "many threats." He told RBC about it.

"A lot of threats sying that we are like that, be frightened, that you may not be taken to Belarus, but will be killed on the spot, shot, that the office will be blown up, etc.," he said.

According to Putilo, the editorial office received similar threats in August 2020, when mass protests began in Belarus after the presidential election, "but now this wave has returned."

"However, threats are coming on, and we are rightly afraid, like all people with an instinct for self-preservation, for their own safety," said the founder of Nexta. He added that the channel's editorial staff "makes every effort to minimize risks."

“We have the police under the office, we have emergency numbers, and we immediately report everything suspicious to the Polish police. That is why we feel, in principle, safe and continue our work, the work of our whole life, ” as Putylo said.

He also said that he had spoken of eventual threats to Protasevich, including "not to fly over Belarus." "Even over the CIS countries friendly to [self-proclaimed President of Belarus Aleksander Lukashenko]. It is dangerous, unfortunately, ” as Putilo said.

 As IMI reported, Roman Protasevych was detained on May 23. He was a passenger on the Athens-Vilnius flight, which made a forced land in Minsk due to a report of a bomb threat on board. After the inspection, Belarusian police arrested him. Ryanair has received instructions from Belarusian air traffic controllers to land the plane in Minsk. By order of the president Lukashenko, a MiG-29 military fighter was lifted into the sky to escort the plane.

Together with Protasevich, security forces detained his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

As IMI reported, the State Security Committee of Belarus entered the founders of the NEXTA Telegram Channel to the list of persons involved in terrorist activities, along with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s leaders and other international terrorists.

An updated version of the List of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities has been published on the website of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus

As IMI reported, on November 16, Belarus sent a note to the Polish side demanding immediate extradition of Stepan Putyl and Roman Protasevich. 

On November 5, the Investigative Committee of Belarus accused Stepan Putylo and Roman Protasevich of organizing mass riots in Belarus. 

On October 20, the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk found the Nexta Live telegram channel and the Nexta logo to be extremist. 

The telegram channel Nexta Live, which covers the protests in Belarus  has been renamed as "HEXTA-Live", after a Minsk court recognized his logo as "extremist stuff."

On August 14, it became known that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus had opened proceedings against the founder of the opposition telegram channels Nekhta and Nekhta Live, Stepan Putylo and declared him wanted. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Putyla is accused of organizing mass riots.

In August, Russia's Interior Ministry put Stepan Putilo, the founder of the Nexta Telegram channel on a wanted list.

The telegram channel Nexta Live, despite the shutdown of the Internet, became the main source of information about the protests in Belarus.

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