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Belarus is reportedly blocking and throttling Twitter in reaction to protests

Thousands are hitting the streets to contest the recent election results.
Nicole Lee, @nicole
August 10, 2020
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Riot police clash with protesters during a rally of opposition supporters, who accuse strongman Alexander Lukashenko of falsifying the polls in the presidential election, in Minsk on August 10, 2020. - Belarus police on August 10 used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up fresh protests challenging the result of a controversial weekend presidential election, witnesses and reports said. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI GAPON/AFP via Getty Images)
SERGEI GAPON via Getty Images

Twitter has acknowledged that it is being blocked and throttled in Belarus, likely due to protests contesting the legitimacy of recent election results. Alexander Lukashenko had won the election with 80 percent of the vote, which have caused thousands of Belarus citizens to flock to the streets in protest. 

“Internet shutdowns are hugely harmful. They fundamentally violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet,” said the company in a tweet

According to Vice, the government has responded to this uprise by shooting rubber bullets and stun grenades at protestors, arresting them, as well as trying to block certain parts of the internet.

Access Now, a nonprofit on digital rights, had tweeted recently that authorities in Belarus had blocked not just Twitter, but also access to various media sites and even some VPNs. NetBlocks, an organization that monitors internet freedom, also tweeted that Belarus had been “largely offline” since Sunday. Local journalists have reported that their VPNs are blocked as well.

Belarus joins the ranks of other countries who have blocked Twitter during times of conflict, which include Venezuela, Turkey and Egypt.

In this article: Belarus, protests, Twitter, lushenko, news, gear
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