Belarusian authorities respond to unauthorized protest activity of opposition with financial persecution

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April 22, 2016 19:36

Participants of the unauthorized opposition action at the KGB building in Minsk to commemorate victims of political repressions were punished with heavy fines. Apparently, the authorities have changed their approach to dealing with unauthorized protest activity of the opposition in the capital and regions. The security services no longer apply harsh repressive measures or detain members of the opposition for organizing unauthorized rallies, they only file administrative protocols against the organizers and most active participants. Later, courts issue heavy fines (the largest possible) on those charges. For instance, last month, in Minsk alone opposition leaders and activists paid over BYR 83 million (USD 4 700) to the state budget in fines. The authorities are attempting to drain the opposition financially in order to reduce their protest activity.

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