Who is Happy in Belarus, State and Independent TV Compared - Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Who is happy in Belarus? BISS analyzes official government and UNICEF statistics and finds out who is happy in Belarus. Mediakritika.by monitors the media situation in Belarusian state TV media, but also Warsaw-based Belsat.

Sergey Drozdovskii, Coordinator of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities, explains why the Belarusian authorities hold back from signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Liberal Club presents a policy brief on the results of the recent sociological surveys regarding attitudes towards the public administration.

Numbers: Who is Happy in Belarus? – Elena Artyomenko, BISS, analyzes the report on women and children, developed jointly by the Ministry of Statistics and UNICEF. In particular, data on subjective well-being and the happiness of young people allows them to derive a formula of a happy Belarusian - to be happy, you have to be a young unmarried girl from a wealthy family from Minsk with a basic education. To feel satisfied with life, you need to be born in Brest in a well off family, do not receive secondary education and have experience with being married.

Censorship and Violation of Journalistic Standards on All Channels– The project mediakritika.by released its regular monitoring of news on state-run TV channels ONT and "Belarus 1" as well as the Warsaw-based "Belsat". The monitoring data for September shows that all three channels were characterized by violations of professional standards such as a balance of opinion, completeness of coverage, separating facts from opinions, reliability and timeliness. State TV did not mention the opposition at all and almost half of their air time was filled with positive stories about the president and government bodies.

Seviarynets on his Release, Spiritual Revolution and Isolation of Opposition from the People – The deep isolation of the opposition from the electorate cannot be compensated by a few and not too ambitious actions. The opposition will gain popularity only when its leaders show by personal example  how to live without lies and live according to a moral code. These and other issues are raised in the studio TUT.BY-TV by former political prisoner, Pavel Seviarynets.

BISS Political Mediabarometer (April-June 2013) – The Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) presents the fifth edition of its quarterly report covering April-June 2013. The report summarizes the half-year and contains information about the communication of political forces and its reflection in the media. In particular, among the positive trends experts point to the increased attention on the part of the media to the political forces with a higher level of offline activity and a greater proactive communications.
    
What do Belarusians think about the National System of Public Administration?– Vasily Korf, Liberal Club, has prepared a policy brief on the results of the recent sociological surveys. The expert uncovered that the data of both government (Information-Analytical Centre at the Presidential Administration) and independent (Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies, IISEPS) centres indicate that not only tops officials, but also the ordinary Belarusians worry about the low efficiency of public administration in the country - "the majority of society does not feel its unity with the state, but rather opposes to it."
 
In Europe the Death Penalty was Abolished in Defiance of Public Opinion, Belarus has its Own Way (video) – In the studio of TUT.by-TV, an attitude of the Belarusians to capital punishment was discussed by Nikolai Samoseiko, MP, Grigory Vasilevich, a former attorney general, Valentin Stefanovich, a human rights activist of the campaign "Human rights defenders against the death penalty", and Oleg Gajdukevich, deputy chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Vytis Jurkonis: Lukashenka is a project of the Kremlin – The Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius will remind the official Minsk about obligations as the EU repeats from 19 December, 2010. The European Union has no illusions regarding Lukashenka. The current regime does not have a European perspective, as Lukashenka is a project of the Kremlin. These theses are articulated by a lecturer of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University, Vytis Jurkonis during his interview about the current relationship between Belarus and Lithuania, between Minsk and the EU.

Andrei Yegorov: Civil Society in Belarus has a Low Temperature of Development – Despite its visible activity, Belarusian civil society is developing slowly. These are the results of a project that monitored civil society in Belarus, held by the Centre for European Transformation over the past two years. The project tracked the development of CSOs working in the field of democratic change, advocacy campaigns, protection of human rights, and an organisational development component as well. The presentation of the recent results of the monitoring was held on 8 October in Minsk.
 
Why Belarus does not Sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? – The intention to join the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is discussed since 2009. But up until now, Belarus remains the only one in Europe that has not signed the document. Sergey Drozdovskii, Coordinator of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities, explains that the Convention imposes a serious commitment on the country, and it is alarming for authorities, because additional legislative regulatory changes and financial investments will be necessary.

Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.

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