The order to suspend the activities of the publication was signed by the Minister of Information Igor Lutskoi, the tut.by edition writes, which received a notification from the ministry.
The portal itself intends to continue working, but without the status of a media outlet. By law, this is permissible - registration of portals as online publications in the country is voluntary. However, the deprivation of the media status for tut.by means that the publication will no longer be able to freely send its journalists to cover the Belarusian protests. The security forces will be able to detain them.
“The status of the media provides some advantages, in particular, the opportunity to be at mass events and in places of socially significant events, to cover them without hindrance”, - the newspaper writes.
The popularity of the tut.by portal has grown significantly against the background of the presidential elections in Belarus and the coverage of the protests after them. According to Yandex-Metrica, the monthly traffic of the publication has 24 million unique users, most of whom live in Minsk and the region. The portal was registered only in January 2019. Prior to that, since 2000, the publication worked without registration. For its coverage of anti-government protests, the newspaper has previously received four warnings from the authorities. The journalists themselves were repeatedly detained at protests. The Ministry of Information submitted an application for the termination of the portal's activity to the Minsk court.
Even before the elections in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko called for the withdrawal of accreditation and expulsion from the country of all foreign journalists who inaccurately cover events in the republic and incite the national conflict. Dozens of journalists were arrested for covering protests in the country, some of whom were detained on the air. The journalist of Nasha Niva Natalya Lubnovskaya was shot in the leg by police while working at one of the rallies. As a result, the publication itself was fined for failing to ensure the safety of the employee while on duty.