A top Wikipedia editor, Mark Bernstein, has been detained by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of Belarus (GUBOPiK), according to local newspaper Zerkalo.
The arrest came after Bernstein’s personal information was shared in the public Telegram channel of the GUBOPiK. The information included his name, social media and Wikipedia handles, and place of work. A video of his arrest was also shared on the channel.
Bernstein was accused of “distributing fake anti-Russian information,” for editing several Wikipedia articles about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bernstein is among the top 50 editors of Russian Wikipedia. Currently, his account has been “blocked indefinitely.”
On its Telegram channel, Russian Wikipedia advised editors to hide their personal information or edit articles from other accounts.
During the invasion, Belarus has been on Russia’s side through logistical support. Ukraine has even accused Belarus of planning to join Russia in the invasion.
Meanwhile, Russia has threatened to block Wikipedia because of a Russian-language article about the invasion of Ukraine.
Last week President Putin signed a law that could put someone in prison for 15 years for spreading “fake news.”