Mascow: Prominent Wikipedia editor Mark Bernstein has been detained in Belarus for editing Wikipedia articles about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of Belarus (GUBOPiK) has arrested Bernstein, according to Belarusian publication Zerkalo.
The Verge reported that Bernstein’s social media accounts, Wikipedia handle and place of work had been shared in GUBOPik’s channel on Telegram messaging app.
A video of Bernstein’s arrest was also posted, along with his photo and personal details.
In the photo, Bernstein is accused of “distributing fake anti-Russian information”.
Bernstein is one of the top 50 editors of Russian Wikipedia.
A Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson said: “The Foundation’s Trust and Safety and Human Rights teams have been monitoring the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
“We are in close touch with our communities in the region to ensure their safety and respond to their needs.”
In the Russian Wikipedia channel on Telegram, users in Belarus and Russia were also advised to hide personal data and to only edit articles about the war from other accounts, according to reports.
Belarus has offered logistical support throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that punishes people spreading “fake news” with up to 15 years in prison.
A Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson said the group was watching the situation closely.
“The Foundation’s Trust and Safety and Human Rights teams have been monitoring the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” the spokesperson said, adding “are in close touch with our communities in the region to ensure their safety and respond to their needs”.