Belarus

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

CSOs targeted for inspection by authorities; Criminal cases against protesters and political prisoners continued; Human rights defenders and journalists targeted by authorities Read more

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

Crackdown on journalists continues, new restrictive regulations

Between April and June 2021, the situation of civil society in Belarus worsened. Authorities continued to pressure civil society organizations, suppressing freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. The number of political prisoners has increased, with many of them receiving prison sentences. As of June 11, 476 persons in Belarus are considered political prisoners, reports Viasna Center. In addition, the authorities blocked several independent publications, and employees were charged with non-payment of taxes, organizing and engaging in unsanctioned activities or conspiracy against government authorities. Activists, representatives of opposition parties and human rights defenders were also detained. Among the organizations whose collaborators have been temporarily detained is the Viasna Center, which actively monitors respect for human freedoms in Belarus. Martha Rabkova, a human rights activist and coordinator of the Viasna Volunteer Service, was put on a preventive record in the pre-trial detention center as "prone to extremism". Read more

Crackdown on journalists continues, new restrictive regulations

Proposed law amendments in Belarus pose serious threats to Freedom of Expression and Press

The increased detention of over 480 journalists between 2020 and 2021, the searching of editorial offices and homes of journalists and the forced diversion of the Ryanair flight 4978 from Athens to Vilnius that subsequently led to the detention of journalist and political activist Roman Protasevich show that the Belarusian authorities are taking action to hinder freedom of the press. This is evident in the introduction of new amendments on 24th May 2021 that threaten the work of journalists. These are amendments to the Law on Mass Events, the Law on Mass Media, and the Law on Telecommunications. Read more

Proposed law amendments in Belarus pose serious threats to Freedom of Expression and Press

BELARUSIAN CSOs TAKE A STAND AGAINST PRESSURE AND COORDINATED PERSECUTION

Following the mass protests that have been unfolding in Belarus since the release of the results of the presidential elections from 9th August 2020, more journalists, human rights activists and trade union members have been detained and attacked by the police. These chains of events have become alarming to the rest of the world and are having a major impact on civil society organisations (CSOs) in Belarus. CSOs are becoming a target of these attacks because they are leading awareness campaigns and are attempting to lobby authorities to put an end to the pressures and coordinated persecutions targeted at journalists and civic activists. The homes of civil society representatives are being searched with the intention of clamping down on their freedom of expression. They are also being arrested for allegedly providing financial assistance to people whose rights and freedoms have been violated. Read more

BELARUSIAN CSOs TAKE A STAND AGAINST PRESSURE AND COORDINATED PERSECUTION

Detained journalists and civic activists face freedom of expression threats in Belarus

The results of the 9th of August 2020 presidential elections triggered mass protests following the announcement of President Alexander Lukashenko after leading for approximately 26 years. Over 100 000 protestors took to the streets on several occasions and were met with a violent crackdown. These Belarus police crackdowns resulted in harsh treatment towards demonstrators
– over 3 000 were detained and many were injured as a result of police brutality. Further arbitrary conduct included security forces raiding the homes and offices of human rights activists, journalists and trade union members. Not only has this compromised on their right to freedom of expression in several ways but it has also resulted in the international community condemning the appalling violence unleased by the Belarusian police on peaceful protesters. Both the European Union and the United States of America have imposed sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko and his allies.
Read more

Detained journalists and civic activists face freedom of expression threats in Belarus

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests

Post-election protests continued to December 2020; Reports reveal extent of violent crackdown on post-election protests by law enforcement; Dozens of journalists, HRDs, CSOs targeted in coordinated raids; Journalist detained upon arrival at the airport in Minsk; TUT.BY journalists persecuted by Belarusian authorities; Read more

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests

After disputed elections, a resilient civil society powers through relentlessly

Repression against Belarusian civil society, which was documented by the Monitor before and immediately after the fraudulent August 2020 presidential elections, has continued relentlessly. With the spread of protests, NGO leaders continue to receive threats and in early September 2020 several of them were briefly detained and others sentenced to imprisonment for up to several weeks. Local and foreign journalists lost their accreditation for reporting on rights violations while media outlets were suspended, and one was declared extremist by authorities. Read more

After disputed elections, a resilient civil society powers through relentlessly

Mass protests follow disputed election results

Protests erupt across the country over disputed results; denounce electoral irregularities; Opposition candidates intimidated after results announcement; Workers down tools to protest disputed results and brutality; Internet and websites blocked; Journalists assaulted, detained; Journalists quit jobs to protest brutality and censorship Read more

Mass protests follow disputed election results

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Presidential candidates and opposition protesters arrested and detained, Journalists attacked an arrested while covering protests Read more

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Protesters oppose Belarus-Russia union, new laws on volunteering and foreign grants expected

Preparation of the the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Volunteering” underway in Belarus, legislation on foreign aid and grants (sponsorship) assistance to take effect, citizens hold several protests as they chanted slogans against unification with "imperialist Russia". in December 2019, Journalist accused of crime as lawyer argues arrest related to journalistic activities, Human Rights Watch Report highlights restrictions on journalists Read more

Protesters oppose Belarus-Russia union, new laws on volunteering and foreign grants expected