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Best Belarusian think tanks, death penalty, tourism accessibility – civil society digest
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Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum (KEF) opens registration. Helsinki Committee and Danish Institute for Human Rights roll out the Human Rights and Business country guide for Belarus. BRC presents results of the 2nd Think Tank Rating – BEROC ranks top. Sixth International...
30 December 2015
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Top 10 Belarus Civil Society in 2015

In anticipation of the New Year, Belarus Digest publishes Pact's overview of some of the most notable Belarus’ civil society developments in 2015. For the fourth straight year, Pact presents its version of the top 10 civic initiatives in order...

12 November 2015
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Belarus – US Relations: Lukashenka No Longer Viewed as a Russian Puppet

Following “peaceful” elections in Belarus, the United States sent two medium-level diplomats to Minsk on 4-5 November. Bridget Brink and Robert Berschinski came to reiterate America’s willingness to uphold the “virtuous cycle” in bilateral relations when one's positive steps...

27 October 2015
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Vote Counting and Election Assessment by Observers – Belarus Presidential Election Digest

Belarus held presidential election between 6 and 11 October 2015. Almost seven million voters were eligible to cast ballots at 6,129 polling stations during the five day early voting period and election day on 11 October. This update summarises...

24 August 2015
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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...

10 June 2015
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Political Prisoners – No Longer a Sticking Point in Belarus-EU Relations?

This May, the Belarusian authorities increased pressure on a number of political prisoners, including former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkievič, anarchist Mikalaj Dziadok and political activist Jury Rubcoŭ. This move appears unreasonable when set against a backdrop of improving relations with...

8 June 2015
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Successful Crowdfunding, Protestants Allowed to Gather For Prayer – Belarus Civil Society Digest

Mova Nanova website has reached 100,000 views per month. First success of Belarusian crowdfunding at Talaka.by – animated Peppa Pig collects 164% of the needed amount. Stakeholders continue discussion on establishment of the National University for Belarus.   First Mahiliou city...

9 February 2015
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Talking to Europe, Mending Ties with the Vatican, Family Values – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

During his "open dialogue" with the press on 29 January, President Alexander Lukashenka continued walking the fine line between alarming Russia and progressing Belarus' relations with the West. The Belarusian ruler made it clear that he appreciated the noticeable shift...

24 November 2014
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Less Overt Support for Ukraine, Lukashenka Takes Pity on Putin – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Gunnar Wiegand, the top EU official for the CIS region, visited Minsk last week to continue active dialogue on modernisation. His unexpected avoidance of Belarus' titular opposition raised concerns in their ranks about a possible shift in policy in...

30 June 2014
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Belarus-West Rapprochement Coming? Political Prisoner Bialiacki Released

On 21 June, the Belarusian authorities unexpectedly released one of its most prominent political prisoners, the head of the Viasna Human Rights Centre, Alieś Bialiacki. The EU, US, UN and OSCE welcomed the release as a positive step and called...

23 April 2014
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Hockey Championship in Belarus: Breaking the Ice with the World

Yesterday Aliaksandr Lukashenka asked officials to make sure that foreign journalists would face no restrictions on media coverage of the Ice hockey World Championship in May. Next month Minsk will host a major international sports event for the first time in the history of independent Belarus. 

22 November 2013
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Why Belarus Authorities Keep a Catholic Priest in Jail

On 15 November, several Belarusian organisations appealed to Amnesty International and local human rights structures to recognise priest Lazar as a prisoner of conscience. Uladzislau Lazar has already spent four months in a KGB jail on charges of 'treason of the...

9 November 2013
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Will Christian Values Unite the Belarusian Opposition?

In recent months, two political prisoners, Źmicier Daškievič and Paval Seviaryniec, completed their incarceration and compulsory labour terms. Both promote Christian politics and are going to keep on struggling with the regime in the upcoming 2014 and 2015 elections. Belarus remains the least religious country...

19 October 2013
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Political Prisoner Cut His Abdomen Protesting against Administration Abuse

On 19 September, human rights organisation “Innovation Platform” announced that political prisoner Mikalaj Aŭtuchovič cut his abdomen in protest to the abuse suffered by the prison administration. Shortly after that he published a letter in Narodnaja Volia newspaper where he explained why he had to...

21 August 2013
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Mapping Belarus, Demise of Potash Cartel, and Lukashenka’s Big Catch – Western Press Digest

The Western Press has been making light of the recent split between potash producers Belaruskali and Russian Uralkali, signalling a turn for the worst in Belarusian-Russian economic relations. In a unique project, Belarusian volunteers have set out to digitally...