Belarus president frees six jailed opponents before election

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April 22, 2016 19:22

There are no more political prisoners in Belarus. On Saturday, August 22nd, Lukashenka pardoned all six prisoners, who were recognised by human rights defenders as political prisoners in Belarus: Mikalai Dzyadok, Ihar AlinevichYauhen VaskovichArtsyom PrakapenkaYury Rubtsou and ex-presidential candidate in the 2010 elections Mikalai Statkevich. In his first interview after the release, Mikalai Statkevich said, "together we shall make this country sound and free. I was expecting to see the country intimidated. But it is better than before!

Video by svoboda.org

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Problems remain for independent journalism in Belarus
April 22, 2016 19:37

Despite raised hopes, a full turn toward Europe seems unlikely.

Do recent events indicate that Belarus could fully turn towards Europe and pull away from Russia politically? In the last few months, a number of developments have excited observers in international media and revitalised old debates about the former Soviet country’s future. But despite positive indications, a broader view suggests that this prediction may be overly optimistic.

In the judgment of most media freedom or democracy indexes, the Eastern European country is labelled as one of the worst in Europe and in recent years Belarus has shown no tangible progress towards establishing a free media atmosphere.

 

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