On November 27 in Belarus a new law "On mass events" came into force, it essentially tightens the rules of opposition actions and opens practically unlimited possibilities for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
The law provides characteristics of all mass events - rally, flash mob, picketing, marches and so on. The list of places, where their conduct is not permitted, was expanded.
For the first time, organizing of events via Internet is regulated - the initiators have no right to collect people through a global network, without informing local authorities about holding an action. It's prohibited to announce the date, time and place of an action in the mass media and information networks, before obtaining permission.
For all the organizers, except government agencies, the so-called "fee basis" is established - now one have to pay for the protection of public order.
The rights of law enforcement officials expand significantly. Policemen in uniform and plain clothes have the right to put up crowd control barriers around the site of an allowed event, to do photo and video-filming, to examine citizens.
If an organizer violated the established order, one is held responsible, and then within a year one loses the right for the official organization of such events. Policemen have the right to terminate an event if they see in it a threat to others.
Commenting on the need to adopt a new law, the management of the Belarusian Interior Ministry admits that the amendments were adopted "in connection with recent events in the world".
Deputy Interior Minister Evgeny Paludzen said: "Because of the need to prevent such accidents, which happen in Libya, Egypt, we want to ensure the safety of our people. This is the main task of the law."
Representatives of the democratic community say: the authorities put their power into a framework, which practically turns any attempt to counter the regime into a criminal offense.