Updated at 10:54,14-11-2017

Authorities bolster repressions against opposition ahead of presidential elections

Belarus in focus

The court has extended the prison tern to Nikolay Dedok, a political prisoner who was to be released in a few days, for a year. Currently, among political prisoners remaining behind bars is former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich and anarchists who are the most radical opponents of the government. The authorities fear of social tension growth during the 2015 presidential campaign, which is why they demonstrate their readiness to clampdown any protest activity by the opposition. Amid the ‘thaw’ in Belarusian-European relations, the authorities demonstrate with their actions that they do not intend to fulfil the main requirement for normalisation of relations with the EU, i.e. to release political prisoners.