The start of the presidential elections campaign in Belarus was marked by a harsh crackdown on journalists and bloggers. Analysts and human rights activists believe that the authorities will go on with repressions.
A wave of arrests of journalists, bloggers and activists hit Belarus just a week into the presidential campaign ahead of the elections due in August. A total of 14 bloggers and journalists became the target of a large-scale crackdown by the Belarus’ authorities over the last few days. They are just a few among dozens of citizens across the country who were either put under administrative arrest or face a fine.
Human rights experts and analysts describe the clampdown on journalists as President Alexander Lukashenko’s efforts to hush up independent voices and suppress possible public discontent, as he is prepared to run for his sixth consecutive presidential term.