In a bid to loosen Russia’s sway over Belarus and emerge from an economic crisis, President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime has been trying to ingratiate itself with the international community and erase its image as “Europe’s last dictatorship.” However, aside from the release of leading political prisoners, nothing has changed. Freelance journalists working for independent media outlets based abroad cannot get accreditation and are harassed by the judicial authorities. Fearing destabilization linked to the Ukrainian crisis, the authorities have jailed both pro-Russian and anti-Russian bloggers. Very few journalists were arrested or subjected to violence in 2016. But the lull ended in March 2017, when an unprecedented wave of protests led to a major crackdown.
157 in 2016
54.32 in 2016