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New repressions in Belarus: The art of staying below western radars
On 14 October, a squad of masked riot policemen raided an antifascist concert in Minsk, detaining dozens of people, and reportedly beating some of them. This incident, among several others, demonstrated a relatively new trend in Belarusian domestic politics....
27 September 2017
Belarusian teachers in search of the lost dignity of their craft

On 5 October, Belarus will celebrate World Teachers’ Day, established by UNESCO in 1994 to show appreciation for the teaching profession and to draw attention to the rights of educators worldwide. Yet in today’s Belarus, teachers have no space...

5 September 2017
Is Belarus Willing to Help People with Disabilities?

On 15 June, Belarus ratified a National Plan for the protection of people with disabilities. The document is a big step for Belarus towards achieving a more compassionate society. Nevertheless, the conditions under which most people with disabilities in...

18 August 2017
Human rights in Belarus: can dialogue work?

This July, the European Union and Belarus held their 4th round of bilateral dialogue on human rights in Brussels. The parties focused on civil, political, and social rights in both Belarus and Europe. Belarus hopes to put human rights...

28 March 2017
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Prison terms for football hooligans: coping with violence or political repression?

On 10 March, a court sentenced six football hooligans to lengthy jail sentences for a fight between fans of FC Partyzan Minsk and a rival group of ultras which occurred in June 2014. The football fans received particularly severe...

10 October 2016
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Pro-life vs pro-choice in Belarus

On 3 October 2016, women in neighbouring Poland went on a nation-wide strike protesting a notorious law criminalising abortion. This ongoing controversy has also provoked public debate in Belarus. Unlike Poland, Belarus does not infringe on women’s reproductive rights. Its...

27 May 2016
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Invisible Minority: Surviving with Disability in Belarus

On 5 May 2016, Minsk hosted a rally of Belarusians on wheelchairs, who gathered to remind the society of continuing discrimination. Neither the state nor the public noticed this desperate cry in the desert, ignoring the needs of about 500,000...

11 May 2016
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How Freedom House Got Media Freedom in Belarus Wrong

American human rights watchdog Freedom House in its most recent global report has ranked Belarus in the bottom ten countries in the world in terms of media freedom. Scoring more poorly than some of the world's worst dictatorships in...

9 April 2015
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Social Progress in Belarus: Self-Perception versus Reality

The Belarusian government and Western analysts tend to agree about one thing: Belarus is a social state. Belarus may not be a wealthy country, Alexander Lukashenka likes to say, but it is a state that serves ordinary people. Yet...

4 March 2015
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Belarus Uncovers Human Rights Abuses in the West

On 27 February, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry (MFA) released a report provocatively titled “The Most Resonant Human Rights Violations in Certain Countries.” The report criticises human rights violations in 25 democracies, ranging from ethnic discrimination to miscounting votes. It...

22 August 2011
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Ales Byalyatsky Formally Charged, a Lawyer Disbarred – Politics Digest

Last week Belarusian authorities continued the criminal prosecution of Ales Byalyatsky. The authorities also continued to put pressure on lawyers who represent opposition activists. There were no massive protests last week but Belaruian courts fined two people who were involved in organizing...

16 August 2011
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Mixed Message from Minsk – Politics & Civil Society Digest

Belarus authorities send a mixed message about their willingness to soften repressions against their opponents. On the one hand, nine participants of December 2011 protests against falsification of elections were pardoned last week. On the other hand, criminal investigation proceedings...

5 August 2011
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Prominent Belarus Activist Arrested – Civil Society & Politics Digest

The news of the week is yesterday's arrest of a prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky. The arrest reportedly followed release of information by Lithuanian Ministry of Justice to Belarus authorities about around 400 bank accounts of Belarusian...

28 January 2011
Helping Belarus Activists Stay, not Leave
Helping Belarus Activists Stay, not Leave

Following the recent presidential elections, many people in Belarus lost their jobs or were expelled from universities. It is important to take measures which would help those people stay...