Belarusian secret services step up their activities ahead of presidential elections

April 22, 2016 19:04

Independent Belarusian journalist and military analyst Alexander Alesin, who was arrested on suspicion of spying for a foreign country, was released on bail from the KGB jail. Alexander Alesin was charged with treason and cooperating with the secret services of the security or intelligence agency of a foreign state. However, allegedly the main suspect in this case is a foreign diplomat. The Belarusian authorities are trying to restrict access of foreign countries even to open information about Belarus’ defence potential due to increased tensions in the region and mutual distrust. In addition, repressions against the opposition and independent civil society are likely to increase ahead of the presidential election, as well as accusations of cooperation with foreign intelligence services.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
September 18, 2017 10:43
Фота носіць ілюстрацыйны характар. Источник: https://dobromirole.blogspot.com.by Читать далее: http://www.b-g.by/society/4-chamu-pra-smyarotnae-pakaranne-belarus-paslya-razmovyi-bresce-z-alesem-byalyack-m/

The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.