Belarus Dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, has signed a law restricting news media activities and allowing them to be closed without a court hearing.
Lukashenko signed on Monday the said law which came after the arrest of a prominent opposition journalist whose commercial flight was forcibly diverted to Belarus because of an alleged bomb threat.
Under the new law, news media cannot have live reports on unauthorized mass gatherings. It also allows the Information Ministry to order a media outlet’s closure without a court decision.
President of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Andrei Bastunets, called it the “most repressive media law.”
“This is the most repressive media law in Europe, which turns the work of journalists in Belarus into a minefield,” he said.
The country has steadily cracked down on journalists including blocking several major news websites.
It has also declared opposition-minded messaging app channels to be “extremist.”