This country of ten million inhabitants has been for over 11 years ruled by Alexander Lukashenka for whom the governance means extensive abuse of the basic human and citizens’ rights on daily basis, removal and imprisonment of his opponents and journalists and deception of people by mass media under his control.
Last autumn in a bogus referendum Lukashenka had had removed two consecutive terms limit on presidency and thus he had made the first step to prolong his rule beyond 2006 when his current term expires.
Since then for a number of months, largely unnoticed by most media and politicians of the democratic world, the last remains of non-governmental organizations, independent press and political parties that could thwart the plans of Belarus autocrat on prolonging his rule ad infinitum are systematically being liquidated. The information blockade of the country is growing, opportunities for young people to study abroad are being limited, and the last independent daily “Narodnaja Volja” is about to be closed down. Alexander Lukashenka can get away with all of this not only due to unsavoury legacy of totally decimated post-soviet social and societal structures but also due to lack of interest in the fate of Belarus on the part of the democratic countries.