Information Ministry starts blocking websites for criticism of authorities
The Information Ministry has restricted access to a popular youth Internet website www.kyky.org, saying that the publications on this website could harm Belarus’ national interests. Recently, the Information Ministry has blocked access to 18 websites for information about where to buy and how to use narcotics and for promotion of child pornography and tabooed vocabulary. In addition, four web-sites had been officially warned by the Ministry, including radio "Racyja”, public association "Svobodny Region», Tuzin.fm and the site of the United Civil Party. So far, the authorities have not yet blocked access to the leading opposition websites, however unofficially restricted access to them during the most critical times thus boosting self-censorship at independent online media.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.