Freedom House annual report on Belarus
According to the international human rights organization Freedom House, the situation with democracy in the Eastern European countries neighboring on EU member states is constantly deteriorating.
Freedom House annual reports say that political rights have been in decline since 1997.
Election rights rating has been on the lowest level for two years already. The report mentions an important fact not a single opposition politician went into parliament after the 2005 parliamentary election. The election process situation cannot any more play its role in the society.
The situation in the spheres of civil community, freedom of press, free and fair legislation is still on a level close to the lowest point 6.75.
Although the country's constitution calls for judicial independence, courts are subject to heavy government influence. During the year, numerous independent civic leaders, opposition political activists, independent journalists, and other persons who oppose government policies experienced arbitrary persecution, arrest, and imprisonment. The right to a fair trial is often not respected in cases with political overtones. Human rights groups continue to document instances of beatings, torture, and inadequate protection during detention in cases involving leaders of the democratic opposition.
According to the report, corruption is one of the biggest problems of the Belarusian regime. It is absolutely false that Belarus is a corruption-free state. The economy which is highly dependent on the regime is a perfect field for numerous corrupt practices. Belarus was ranked 107 out of 146 countries surveyed in the 2005 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.
Freedom House points out that the decline in democracy in Belarus is first of all conditioned by further centralization of power and high-level corruption.