Peaceful Assembly in Belarus

People in Belarus cannot freely assemble, and civic organisations are unable to muster widespread participation in public demonstrations. Laws overseeing gatherings, meetings and protests are used in dereliction of constitutional and international obligations to guarantee freedom of assembly in Belarus. No information about an assembly can be disseminated before government approval has been granted. This legal structure gives the authorities power to arbitrarily deny permission or suppress gatherings. In a bid to deter public mobilisations, particularly around campaigns critical of the government, pre-emptive arrests of activists have been used to stifle planned assemblies. Those protests that are allowed are often moved away from central areas to dissuade participation and decrease the visibility of dissent.