Paranoia, fear and ruthlessness underpin the government’s attitude toward civic freedoms in Belarus. Citizens, civic organisations and media outlets all need permission from the state to operate, a situation that severely curtails independent comment and dissent. In 2016, the government of Belarus shows no sign of relenting in its campaign of systematic violations and criminalisation of civil and political rights, which has led to unwarranted intimidation and prosecution of independent activists and organisations. Due to the monopolisation of media outlets and intimidation of journalists, space for independent media is closing. Independent civic organisations find it almost impossible to survive because they cannot access foreign funds, are subjected to politicised and selective registration processes and experience frequent harassment of activists.