Belarusian Helsinki Committee appealed to the CEO and Co-Founder Telegram Pavel Durov. We drew his attention to the facts of posting and disseminating through the Telegram resources of Belarusian segment some video and text materials, violating human rights and demonstrating violence and human dignity humiliation (including the right to privacy, prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and political views, and radical forms of hate speech towards LGBTQ+ people).
We called on Telegram to prevent using the Telegram resources for human rights violations, in particular:
- To block channels, which produce the largest amount of human rights abusive, discriminatory content, sistematically used by the State for licking data, promoting violence and personal data and are main sources for reposting (marked with “**” in the Annex to this letter)
- To block access at least to the materials of rest of the channels, named in the Annex to this letter;
- To issue a warning to named channels about non-admissibility of further posting and disseminating of such materials;
- To block the rest of the channels from the Annex in the case of non-compliance with such demanding;
- Taking into account the fact that such practices in the Belarusian segment of Telegram from the State affiliated channels are very common, and even blocking of some channels cannot be effective enough in some cases, because new ones of the same content can be immediately created – focus Telegram’s attention on this area in respect to more thorough human rights due diligence, including more detailed assessing risks of human rights violations made via Telegram resources.
Also we appealed to Sundar Pichai, the CEO Google and Alphabet, and Tim Cook, the CEO Apple Inc. We drew their attention to the facts described above because Telegram can be downloaded through Google Play and AppStore and thus Telegram is in their companys’ supply chain.