A top Wikipedia editor has been arrested in Belarus
The Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of Belarus (GUBOPiK) has detained prominent Wikipedia editor Mark Bernstein, according to the Belarusian publication Zerkalo. The arrest comes after Bernstein’s personal information was shared on GOBUPiK’s public Telegram channel. Bernstein is one of the top 50 editors of Russian Wikipedia.
The Verge was able to confirm that Bernstein’s information — including his social media, Wikipedia handle, and place of work — had been shared in GUBOPik’s channel on the messaging app. A video of Bernstein’s arrest was also posted alongside his photo and personal details. In the photo itself, Bernstein is accused of “distributing fake anti-Russian information.” The channel has since been made private.
Zerkalo also reports that Berstein had been accused of editing Wikipedia articles about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, none of the information in the Telegram channels clearly specifies exactly what, if anything, Bernstein has officially been charged with. In an activity log of Bernstein’s purported Wikimedia username, you can see that he’s made over 200,000 edits to Russian Wikipedia articles. Currently, his account is described as “blocked indefinitely.”