Belarusian president softens anti-corruption prosecution to sing loyalty of nomenclature
Last week, President Lukashenka decided on the early release of Former Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Arkhipov and appointed him as director of ‘Petrovichi’ agricultural enterprise. Arkhipov was released of his duties and fired from the prosecutor’s office, and subsequently sentenced to six years imprisonment in a penal colony for the abuse of power and taking bribes. It should be noted that amendments to the Belarusian legislation have somewhat softened penalties for corruption charges and enabled voluntary transfer of "expensive gifts" to the state. Throughout his rule, Lukashenka quite often released high level officials early. Amid deteriorating economic situation, the president is taking additional measures to preserve the solidity of the power system and ensure the loyalty of the nomenclature by easing corruption prosecution.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.