Apologies for this being one day late.
Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The Charter 97 opposition website has not been updated since yesterday. The independent Belarusskiy Partisan website is reporting that the regime has been conducting a nation-wide manhunt for all journalists from the independent Belsat TV channel.
If the regime is attempting to close down all independent media reporting, the result will be social media messaging, and the public unrest will get worse since professional journalists will not be there to censor out inflammatory fake news reports.
Dumb and dumber, but if the regime is taking advice from Russia, self-explanatory.
Belarus may lose the only TV channel that dares to criticize its dictator. And that could be bad news for Lukashenko himself.
In the minds of many, Belarus’s 2017 can easily become Ukraine’s 2014. And what one specifically fears about that speaks volumes about where one stands. (The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.)
Palina Brodik Over the past month, a wave of protests against the so -called “decree on social parasites” has rolled over Belarus. In result, hundreds of Belarusians were brutally detained and arrested by representatives of law enforcement agencies who were operating in the streets in civilian clothes, including at rallies sanctioned by the authorities. During the spring of 2015, amid Russia’s economic crisis caused by falling oil prices and the collapse of the Russian ruble, Belarus, a country which is economically dependent upon its eastern neighbor, also underwent bad times. Mass layoffs, a significant reduction in wages and price hikes led to declines in living standards of the Belarusians. One might assume that such a socially-oriented state as Belarus is, according to its President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, should provide maximum support to the socially unprotected strata of the population. However, contrary to all common sense, the President of the Republic issued the Decree No. 3 “On the Prevention of Social Dependence,” or “social parasites decree” as it is commonly called, obliging every Belarusian who works less than 6 months during the year to pay a tax of $245. Compulsory social work is envisioned as punishment for non-payment, in addition to the fine. After the deadline to pay the “parasite tax” was postponed several times, 20 February 2017 was chosen as the final date. The next day it became clear that only one of nine Belarusians were able to pay the money which they had nowhere to earn. Of the 470,000 citizens who received the “letters of happiness,” only 51,600 paid the fee. Housewives and young mothers, people with disabilities, villagers, people under layoffs, and even persons who died many years ago were included in the lists of “parasites.”
Anarchists, the avangarde of social protests in Belarus – Read on Belarusdigest.com
Journalists “Belsat” across the country today is a real hunt. In four cities the film crews of the television channel were detained. On Saturday, anarchists announced protests in 11 cities. Journalists of Belsat went to the regions to cover what would happen. In Facebook, a journalist who collaborates with Belsat, Alexander Levchuk, told about his detention. He had time to unsubscribe briefly on his page, that he was detained. Now his phone is off. The location is unknown. There was information that Alesya Levchuk was detained in Kobrin.