Violation of children's rights in the Belarusian segment of Telegram

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UPD on 14.06.22.Telegram completely removed channels "Желтые сливы" ("Zheltye slivy") and "Ваши сливы" ("Vashi slivy") involved in human rights violations. At the beginning of June, the channels were blocked in the mobile application

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee contacted the heads of Telegram, Apple, Google with a request to respond to the facts of violations of children's rights in the Belarusian segment of Telegram by channels affiliated with the state. We are talking about the practice of publishing “penitential” videos, the participants of which are children. 

Earlier, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee sent information about the practice of public arrests of teenagers and the publication of such videos to the UN Special Rapporteurs  on torture, on freedom of expression and opinion, on the right to health, on the right to privacy and on the human rights situation in Belarus

In their communications, human rights defenders emphasize the degrading and traumatic nature of these practices. Children are an extremely vulnerable group, which increases the negative impact of such "public executions".  It can be seen from the video that the teenagers are clearly scared, it can be assumed that pressure was exerted on them. This practice can leave a deep mark on the psycho-emotional state of both detained teenagers and those who witness the incident or see the video.

In January 2022, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee already contacted Telegram, Apple, Google in connection with the dissemination by the Belarusian authorities through Telegram of materials violating human rights and containing radical forms of incitement to hatred against LGBTQ people. Most of the materials we mentioned were removed from Telegram.