Belarus’ authorities maintain high level of repression against opposition
Pavel Vinogradov, an activist from Zmena youth organisation was arrested ahead of the CIS and EEU Summit.
Regardless of the authorities’ desire to defrost relations with the EU and the US, the Belarusian security forces have not changed their repressive means towards the opposition - especially the youth activists- by using the same tactics that they usually employ before major international events. Meanwhile, seven prisoners, whom human rights activists and the opposition consider as political prisoners, are still behind bars. Ahead of the presidential campaign, the authorities are most likely to maintain a high level of repressions against the opposition in order to eliminate threats from the most radical opposition activists.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.