Vytis Jurkonis: Of the Orwellian calendar, the year is 1984 in Belarus today
The head of the Freedom House in Vilnius writes about Belarusan authorities flourishing in a passive environment without any dissent.
Throughout the years the regime has developed a system where an election is a parody, independent media is almost eliminated, and civil society is pushed underground. Orwell would not be surprised to hear that the main opposition candidate during the presidential election in 2015 was not planning to win. The early voting marked Lukashenka at 36 per cent, meanwhile he “received” over 83 per cent, with the overall turnout higher than 85 per cent. Might look odd, but this is in fact common for Belarus. In a country, where journalists are arrested for the photo of a teddy-bear or a one-armed man is on trial for clapping at silent protests, the abnormal becomes the norm.
The Russian side is grateful to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for his decision to go to Russia as the visit after the presidential election, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Belarus Alexander Surikov said in an interview with the STV channel, BelTA has learned.
“We are grateful for this decision,” the Ambassador said.