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Political repression
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Prison terms for football hooligans: coping with violence or political repression?
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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...
27 March 2017
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Editorial: responding to violence in Belarus

Following the violent suppression of peaceful political protests in Belarus, many policy-makers Western capitals are at a loss. Should they re-impose sanctions? Ignore human rights violations for geopolitical concerns? To resolve this quagmire, it is important to understand why the...

28 January 2016
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Belarus is Сhanging Rapidly and Needs the West

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, coupled with Russia's economic decline, has facilitated the separation of Belarusian national identity from all things Russian. The government has made an effort to differentiate Belarus's interests from those of the Kremlin and to...

17 March 2015
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Belarusian Authorities Step Up Pressure On Anarchists

While European and American officials are visiting Minsk and discussing easing sanctions on Belarusian officials, the KGB is preparing for this year's presidential election. In recent months the police have stepped up pressure on civic activists and anarchists to avoid...

4 February 2015
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Belarus Tightens Media Control to Prepare for Election

Last month Belarusian authorities continued their offensive against independent media. An amendment to the media law, in force since 1 January, tightened the state's control over the Internet. Eight days later, the state ordered the confiscation of profits from an independent...

12 March 2014
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Public Protests in Belarus: The Opposition is Changing Tactics

While in Ukraine large scale political demonstrations are just a regular instrument used to influence the authorities, democratic activists in Belarus are prosecuted for nearly any kind of public political action. Trying to adapt to the current conditions, the...

12 February 2014
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Police Crack Down on Pro-Euromaidan Ultras in Belarus

A photo of 20 well-known Belarusians holding a banner in support of FC BATE Barysau ultras stirred up the Belarusian internet at the end of January. The photo also featured rock star Liavon Volski, writer and journalist Natalka Babina, screenwriter and film...

19 December 2012
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Belarus Reality Check 2012

The Reality Check is a new initiative which aims to convene regularly a Review Group to contribute to the formulation of a more effective policy towards the EU’s Eastern neighborhood countries. The Review Group includes domestic and international analysts, practitioners,...

31 October 2012
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Arche: Authorities Against Belarusian Intellectuals

On 26 October, Belarus state television showed another criminal movie about independent Belarusian community. This time to prevent crimes Department of Financial Investigation staff members confiscated scholarly books written in Belarusian. The authorities confiscated over 5,000 books from a former...

5 April 2012
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Why Don’t Belarusians Revolt?

Over the last fifteen years Belarusians have become used to the authorities' brutality during opposition demonstrations. Since 19 December 2010 the police have been particularly repressive, leaving no opportunities for protesters. But the massive rally in Minsk on 25 March,...

30 March 2012
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Freedom Day, Arbitrary Detentions and Travel Bans – Belarus Politics Digest

Although Belarusian authorities permitted and did not interfere with the annual Freedom Day opposition rally in the centre of Minsk, the pressure against opposition activists is increasing. Multiple detentions leading to short-term prison terms are now coupled with restrictions on travelling...

14 March 2012
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The Role of Security Services in Belarus Politics

To understand the balance of power in Belarus it is important to understand the role of the siloviki (the security services). Although they affect political decision-making and the degree of violence in domestic politics they are not a predominant...

12 February 2012
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Belarusian Opposition in “Status Quo” Survival Mode

While the presidential election campaign of December 2010 saw a revival of dynamism and interest in the opposition in Belarus, the subsequent violent clampdown ended hope of an opening in Belarus. The opposition, rattled and weakened by these events...

16 January 2012
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Belarus KGB Attempts to Recruit Informants – Digest of Belarusian Politics

Belarusian authorities have not changed their ways in 2012. The former presidential candidate Mikola Statkevich will be transferred to a detention facility with harsher conditions, the KGB is trying to recruit new informants and more democratic activists are under pressure. Statkevich to...

3 January 2012
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Elections Where Everybody Lost & Recent Polls – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

In December most Belarusian commentators focused on significant events of the 2011 and forecasts for the year 2012 - their outlook was rather pessimistic. The Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies published results of its recent polls which...