Recent months have seen unprecedented social protest in Belarus. According to Human Rights Watch, citizen mobilisation has also resulted in mass and arbitrary arrests of demonstrators, human rights activists and journalists in this authoritarian nation.
On orders of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, some 1,000 people were detained, jailed or forced to pay hefty fines from February through the big March 25 Freedom Day protest commemorating the republic’s founding in 1918.
Notably, protests occurred not only in Minsk and regional capitals but also in smaller towns throughout Belarus for the first time. A proposition for a new tax targeting part-time workers catalysed existing discontent with the country’s economic situation.… Seguir leyendo »