Ales Bialiatski: 2010 will be quite a hard year
Human rights defenders state that on the eve of the presidential elections in Belarus the authorities will tighten the screws.
2010 will be quite a hard year: there are two big political campaigns scheduled for it: the elections to the local soviets in spring and the start of the presidential electoral campaign in autumn.
'According to the practice existing in our state if the social life is getting more active the authorities increase the repressions. That's why we believe that the questions of harassment of civil activists, repressions and limitation of civil rights and freedoms of the media will become acute,' stated Ales Biakliatski, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in an interview to the BelaPAN.
'2010 won't be very joyful for human rights defenders. I don't expect a liberalization, there will be only tightening of the screws in connection with the upcoming elections. Lukashenka's intention to run for another term is not a secret, that's why he needs no liberalization in economics, politics and the civil sector. Not a single political party or human rights NGO will be registered. They are dangerous for the authorities as they work with people on the local level.' said Aleh Vouchak, chairperson of the Legal Assistance to the Population.