Ibelarus http://ibelarus.net/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:42:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://ibelarus.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4-150x150.png Ibelarus http://ibelarus.net/ 32 32 UN leader of the law is sounding the alarm over increasing human rights violations in Belarus http://ibelarus.net/un-leader-of-the-law-is-sounding-the-alarm-over-increasing-human-rights-violations-in-belarus/ http://ibelarus.net/un-leader-of-the-law-is-sounding-the-alarm-over-increasing-human-rights-violations-in-belarus/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:42:56 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/un-leader-of-the-law-is-sounding-the-alarm-over-increasing-human-rights-violations-in-belarus/

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet reported that the human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate as President Alexander Lukashenko tightened repressive measures to suppress dissent.

The High Commissioner presented her latest update on Belarus to the UN Human Rights Council.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will attend a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 13, 2021.

This latest report has been investigating alleged human rights abuses in Belarus since May 2020. Bachelet said the government refused to cooperate or allow UN experts access to conduct its investigation, so all information was gathered remotely.

She said the results were very disheartening.

“I am deeply concerned about the tightening restrictions on civil space and freedoms, including the ongoing patterns of police raids against civil society organizations and independent media, and the arrests and prosecutions of human rights defenders and journalists who appear routinely politically motivated.” “Said Bachelet.

The report found that more than 650 people are currently detained for their opinions. Last year almost 500 journalists and media workers were arrested and at least 68 were ill-treated. The journalist Raman Pratasevich is one of the 27 journalists who are still in custody. He was arrested in May after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to the capital Minsk by the Belarusian authorities.

FILE - A man holds up a phone with a flashlight on during a rally by opposition activists accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of manipulating the polls in his favor in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 10, 2020.

FILE – A man holds up a phone with a flashlight on during a rally by opposition activists accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of manipulating the polls in his favor in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 10, 2020.

Bachelet said she was alarmed by ongoing allegations of widespread and systematic torture and ill-treatment of protesters who were arbitrarily arrested. She said even children were ill-treated while in detention and at least four protesters died in police custody.

“Gender-based violence in detention remains a matter of serious concern,” said Bachelet. “The Office has received reports of sexual violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers primarily, but not exclusively, against women and girls. This includes reports of sexual assault, threats of sexual assault, psychological violence and sexual harassment against both women and men. ”

Bachelet said thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries in search of asylum since the 2020 presidential election.

Belarusian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yuri Ambrazevich, said the report was full of unsubstantiated statements and accusations. He said the experts ignored his administration’s position.

He questions the council’s power to act as a court and judge the actions of his country. He said the mandate given to the experts to investigate his country’s human rights situation was illegitimate.

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Human rights in Belarus continue downward spiral, warns Bachelet | http://ibelarus.net/human-rights-in-belarus-continue-downward-spiral-warns-bachelet/ http://ibelarus.net/human-rights-in-belarus-continue-downward-spiral-warns-bachelet/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:55:58 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/human-rights-in-belarus-continue-downward-spiral-warns-bachelet/

Gender-based violence is of grave concern as around 30 percent of those arbitrarily detained are reported to have been women and girls. Michelle Bachelet told that Human Rights Council in genf.

Freedoms under attack

Since the controversial re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko in August last year, the fundamental freedoms have been severely restricted, said Bachelet.

She highlighted ongoing police raids against civil society groups and independent media, as well as the politically motivated arrests and prosecutions of activists and journalists.

More than 650 people are said to be imprisoned for their opinions – including the head of the well-known human rights group Viasna.

Suppression of disagreements

Ms. Bachelet noted that the main goal of the Belarusian authorities was to suppress criticism and dissenting views of government policy, and not to protect human rights.

She added that she regretted that the request to meet the Belarusian ambassador had been denied, which prevented a working visit to the country.

The UN chief of law said 27 journalists and media workers were in custody until August 10, including well-known blogger Roman Protasevich, who was arrested with his Russian partner in May after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Belarus which sparked worldwide condemnation.

Belarusian answer

In response to statements in the Council, Belarus said that its government had restored order in the country and that “people were working and leading their normal lives”.

It insisted that the actions of the Belarusian authorities are aimed at maintaining order and protecting the rights of all citizens.

He reiterated his opposition to Resolution 46/2, which condemned “ongoing serious human rights violations in Belarus”, and stated that the government’s position had been ignored and that the main goal of the protests was a revolutionary change of power.

Appeal for country access

Ms. Bachelet said at the meeting that the council could consider a number of accountability measures, but only 50 percent of the funds available for the mandate had been approved.

She said she hoped this would increase in 2022. The UN head of law also stressed that direct access to land is important, for example for physical access to prisons. However, she noted that “much could be achieved without physical access”.

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Migrants freeze to death on the Belarus-Poland border – BBC News http://ibelarus.net/migrants-freeze-to-death-on-the-belarus-poland-border-bbc-news/ http://ibelarus.net/migrants-freeze-to-death-on-the-belarus-poland-border-bbc-news/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:44:44 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/migrants-freeze-to-death-on-the-belarus-poland-border-bbc-news/

BBC News released this video titled “Migrants Freezing to Death at the Belarus-Polish Border – BBC News” – below is their description.

At least four people died trying to cross the Belarusian-Polish border in temperatures well below freezing.

This group is stranded in a forest and has to sleep outside when the temperature is below zero.

EU members Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have each declared a state of emergency amid a flood of thousands of people trying to cross the border from Belarus.

BBC News YouTube channel

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In this story: Lithuania

Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic States of Europe. Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people (as of 2019). The capital and largest city is Vilnius and other big cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Balts. Alongside Latvian, the official language Lithuanian is one of only two living languages ​​in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

On March 11, 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare its independence, which led to the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Eurozone, the Schengen Agreement, NATO and the OECD. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of the Nordic-Baltic Cooperation of Northern European Countries, and is classified as a Northern European country by the United Nations.

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    Pointed out points of growth in Belarusian-Moldovan relations http://ibelarus.net/pointed-out-points-of-growth-in-belarusian-moldovan-relations/ http://ibelarus.net/pointed-out-points-of-growth-in-belarusian-moldovan-relations/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 14:49:00 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/pointed-out-points-of-growth-in-belarusian-moldovan-relations/

    Natalya Kochanova



    MINSK, September 24 (BelTA) – There are growth opportunities in many areas of Belarusian-Moldovan relations. The President of the Council of the Republic of the Belarusian National Assembly, Natalya Kochanova, made the statement at a meeting with the outgoing Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Moldova to Belarus, Victor Sorocean, BelTA learned.

    Natalya Kochanova said: “I am pleased to welcome you to the Council of the Republic. Unfortunately the meeting was brought about by the end of your mission in our country. In any case, you will remain a good friend of Belarus. First of all, I would like to mention the level of friendly relations that have developed between our countries and the constructive dialogue at the highest and highest levels. It certainly has a lot to do with your work. “

    According to her, the ambassador achieved a lot during his stay in Belarus. Visits were made by the presidents of Belarus and Moldova. The Presidents of Parliament met this year. Trade turnover between Belarus and Moldova increased from January to July 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are grateful for the erection of a monument to our compatriot Francysk Skaryna in Chisinau,” said the spokesman for the upper house of the Belarusian parliament. “We are counting on the continuation of the constructive cooperation. We are ready to cooperate. Our countries and nations need it. We have growth points in commerce, business and social. We count on your continuous help and support. We always had the feeling that you are the kind of person who treats our country and our people well. “

    Victor Sorocean thanked Natalya Kochanova for agreeing to see him. It was a pleasure to work with all government agencies in Belarus and to carry out serious tasks. “I always knew I had support here,” he said.

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    Iraqi migrant dies near border with Belarus, death toll up to 5 http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5/ http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:45:05 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5/

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) – An Iraqi migrant died near Poland’s border with Belarus and another was hospitalized with COVID-19, Polish border guards said on Friday.

    The fatality brings the death toll to five among migrants attempting to get from Belarus through an area of ​​dense forests and bogs to EU member states Poland and Lithuania.

    The Iraqi migrant died despite efforts to resuscitate him. Polish officials have attributed the previous deaths to hypothermia and exhaustion.

    Border guards posted on her Twitter account that one of a group of Iraqi migrants arrested about 500 meters from the border with Belarus within Poland has died of a likely heart attack.

    The other migrant was rushed to hospital after testing positive for a COVID-19 test.

    Human rights organizations deal with the plight of migrants – mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan – trying to get into the EU.

    Two United Nations agencies have asked for access to asylum seekers stranded on the Belarusian border with Poland and Lithuania. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson and other officials are planning a visit shortly to assess the situation at the border.

    A spokesman for the EU Commission, Adalbert Jahnz, said on Friday that it was “imperative that Poland perform the tasks of border protection effectively”, but also called on the authorities to “ensure that the people at the border take the necessary care and help obtain. ”

    Poland’s government insists that its main task is to protect the border against the influx of migrants and accuses the Moscow-backed Belarusian government of organizing it.

    Warsaw has so far ignored EU proposals that the bloc’s border and coast guard, Frontex, help guard the border.

    Jahnz said it was the Commission’s view that using Frontex at the border would be “a very good idea” but that it was up to Poland to request it.

    Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller said that using Frontex would not change the situation and that the Polish armed forces are doing their job well.

    The Polish and Lithuanian governments have imposed a state of emergency on 1 kilometer wide strips along their border with Belarus, denying entry to everyone except border guards, the military and security services. They also build barbed wire fences along their border with Belarus.

    Poland and Lithuania have welcomed an unusual number of Middle East and African migrants and refugees arriving from Belarus in recent months. The influx of migrants began after Western countries imposed sanctions on Lukashenko’s government for the country’s controversial presidential election in August 2020 and crackdown on the opposition.

    ____

    Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this.

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    Iraqi migrant dies near border with Belarus, death toll up to 5 | National / World http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5-national-world/ http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5-national-world/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:44:12 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/iraqi-migrant-dies-near-border-with-belarus-death-toll-up-to-5-national-world/

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) – An Iraqi migrant died near Poland’s border with Belarus and another was hospitalized with COVID-19, Polish border guards said on Friday.

    The fatality brings the death toll to five among migrants attempting to get from Belarus through an area of ​​dense forests and bogs to EU member states Poland and Lithuania.

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    Makei continues bilateral talks in New York http://ibelarus.net/makei-continues-bilateral-talks-in-new-york/ http://ibelarus.net/makei-continues-bilateral-talks-in-new-york/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 06:51:00 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/makei-continues-bilateral-talks-in-new-york/

    Vladimir Makej. An archive photo

    MINSK, Sept. 24 (BelTA) – Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei is continuing a series of bilateral meetings and talks on the margins of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) in New York. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ press service briefed BelTA on the details of the May 21-28. September scheduled meeting.

    On the second working day, the Foreign Minister met with counterparts from seven countries: Venezuela, Vietnam, Mozambique, Jamaica, Estonia, Syria and Hungary. The day before, Vladimir Makei held talks with the ministers of Iran, Nicaragua, Turkey, Serbia and Finland.

    The Belarusian Foreign Minister met with his Venezuelan counterpart Félix Plasencia. The parties stressed the need to intensify a comprehensive intergovernmental dialogue and to intensify cooperation in trade and business. They also discussed preparations for a special envoy of the Venezuelan President’s visit to Belarus to discuss the full range of bilateral cooperation.

    The Foreign Ministers noted that they were aligned on the international agenda and agreed to closely coordinate efforts as part of the multilateral effort to protect national interests and the sovereignty of UN member states.

    At the meeting with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Vladimir Makei called for the resumption of personal high-level and high-level contacts that had been interrupted due to the pandemic. The parties discussed in detail the prospects for cooperation in trade and business, including the possibility of increasing deliveries to Belarusian trucks and establishing joint ventures.

    The Vietnamese Foreign Minister stated that the free trade agreement between the EAEU member states and Vietnam can be used to promote Vietnamese products on the Eurasian market.

    Foreign ministers expressed confidence that the planned opening of the Belarusian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City will go a long way towards facilitating contacts between the two countries.

    The parties also discussed the interaction between Belarus and Vietnam in international organizations, including mutual assistance in elections to UN bodies.

    Vladimir Makei met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the recent intensification of political contacts and discussed prospects for cooperation in trade and business. They highlighted the importance of mutual support in international organizations and agreed on a number of concrete steps in bilateral and multilateral formats.

    On the initiative of the Jamaican side, Vladimir Makei met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Kamina Johnson Smith. The parties discussed priority areas of cooperation in the UN, agreements on mutual support in elections to UN bodies.

    Vladimir Makei and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets discussed a wide range of topics of common interest.

    The focus of the meeting with the foreign minister and expatriate of the Syrian Arab Republic, Faisal Mekdad, was the domestic political situation in Belarus and Syria. The parties also considered a number of issues on the international agenda.

    Ministers discussed the possibility of holding another meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technology Cooperation and high-level visits in the near future.

    Faisal Mekdad thanked Belarus for taking in Syrian children for recreation and for providing regular humanitarian aid.

    At the meeting with the Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó, the parties exchanged views on current issues on the international agenda and discussed the possibility of expanding bilateral cooperation.

    Vladimir Makei also attended a high-level meeting of the Friends of the United Nations Charter Group to discuss ways to counter unilateral coercive measures and the UN Food Systems Summit.

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    No Regrets: One Woman in White’s Exiled Story http://ibelarus.net/no-regrets-one-woman-in-whites-exiled-story/ http://ibelarus.net/no-regrets-one-woman-in-whites-exiled-story/#respond Thu, 23 Sep 2021 20:42:20 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/no-regrets-one-woman-in-whites-exiled-story/

    Anastasia Kostyugova, a 29-year-old marketing specialist from Minsk who co-founded the Women in White civic movement, is in Washington on September 23rd to receive the Jeane Kirkpatrick Award from the International Republication Institute. (Photo: Courtesy)

    “At first I didn’t think of getting rid of it [Alyaksandr Lukashenka] would take so long ”, Anastasia Kostyugova admits. She is a co-founder of the Women in White movement, a civic movement in Belarus that catalyzed the fraudulent 2020 presidential election in Belarus.

    It has been more than a year since elections were held in Belarus that sparked a political crisis that threatened the legitimacy of the regime. Lukashenka, the longtime authoritarian leader, expected an easy win, but after severe economic mismanagement and the COVID crisis, the country rebelled when he tried to steal the race. For the first time women confronted the mustached misogynist and organized photogenic marches with thousands of women in white marching peacefully, holding flowers and smiling.

    Lukashenka imprisoned his male candidates and made a grave assessment error by allowing Svitalana Tsikhanouskya, a resident mother of two and a former English teacher, to enroll. Lukashenka never thought that Belarusians would band together around a woman.

    They did and they did. Tsikhanouskya and two other women became the face of the democratic movement that gripped the country and sparked the greatest political crisis Lukashenka has ever experienced.

    On Saturdays in autumn 2020, from August to mid-November, women took to the streets in white. On Sundays the crowds were bigger and a mix of men, women and children. These were the first women-led marches. “It wasn’t a matter of course in the past,” says Kostyugova.

    But then the security forces started extreme violence against women and put them in jail. In the past, women were not allowed to be beaten. Today only a few brave souls walk through the streets of Minsk with white umbrellas every two weeks.

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    Kostyugova, a likable and energetic 29-year-old marketing specialist from Minsk, is in Washington on September 23rd to receive the Jeane Kirkpatrick Prize from the International Republication Institute. She also works in the office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskya, the opposition leader.

    Kostyugova has no regrets, despite the high price she paid for her activism. “I lost my family. I lost my apartment. I still have my life and my freedom, and that’s more than enough, ”she says.

    Kostyugova is one of hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who have fled their country since 2020. “My mother is in prison. I am in exile. I did not expect this. But without [this suffering], we did not understand the value of human rights and democracy, ”confirms Kostyugova.

    Kostyugova is no ordinary PR specialist. She is the daughter of Valeria Kostyugova, a political analyst who imprisoned in June 2020 for interviews and Anatoly Pankovsky. Together, her parents have created some of the best analytical websites and publications on politics in the country.

    Valeria was taken into custody in the middle of the night after an interview. She has been charged with conspiracy or other acts to conquer state power and face up to 12 years in prison. Lukashenka’s regime doesn’t mess around. You recently sentenced Opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova was imprisoned for eleven years.

    Prior to the 2020 presidential election, Anastasia was an ordinary young professional working her way up in the marketing industry despite considering herself a feminist. “I’m a feminist, but you’re a freak in this country.” The F-word has a negative connotation for many in Belarus.

    She quickly left Minsk in September 2020 after security services showed up at her work, home and her grandfather’s house. She was hiding in a friend’s apartment, but left Minsk immediately after these visits. There was no time to pack. Arriving at the Lithuanian border by car without a visa, she crossed three hours later on a 20-day humanitarian visa and began her life in exile.

    Women in White has since shifted its efforts online. “It’s all underground now because [the situation] is very dangerous, ”she says. Ordinary people were arrested for simply wearing red, the color of the democratic movement.

    The initiative targets women who support the regime. “They don’t know that there is anything better,” says Kostyugova with a smile. They want to reach judges and police wives. The initiative has roughly 20,000 subscribers, but it’s a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of women who participated in last year’s marches.

    Kostyugova is baffled, and says efforts are focused on turning educational content about human rights, democracy, feminism (without the F-word), and domestic violence into engaging social media content.

    This summer the regime practically shut down independent media outlets or forced them to redirect their political coverage to anodyne topics such as astrology and the weather.

    Telegram, the once popular method of organizing democratic forces, is losing its audience. Instead, people, including ordinary factory workers, are switching to YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

    Kostyugova insists that despite the tiny crowd and the fact that the opposition leader is in exile, the democratic movement is not over yet. “This system cannot survive 10 years,” she says, arguing that the regime is running out of money. For example, police officers are entitled to vacate apartments from the government and funds are no longer sufficient for these apartments.

    Kostyugova is not blind to the enormous challenges that lie ahead. Massive street protests are unlikely given the price the middle class paid last year; Thousands lost their businesses and moved abroad. When the regime looked fragile that summer, the factory workers never broke with the regime and Lukashenka was left sitting.

    “He knows that everyone is fed up with him,” she says, but the question of who will come after him is harder to answer.

    Analyst Katia Glod thinks that Russia will try to replace Lukashenka slowly and without formal annexation, and that time is on Moscow’s side. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenka met five times in Moscow this year to discuss an integration agreement between the two countries, financial aid, military cooperation and constitutional reform. Putin wants an indulgent leader in Minsk, and Lukashenka is anything but that, and he’s short of money, and the fourth package of sanctions should start stabbing this winter. Lukashenka’s options could run out.

    But for now the old farm boss is still in charge, even if he is no longer legitimate and widely despised. “It’s not about loyalty. It’s about fear, ”says Kostyugova.

    Melinda Haring is Associate Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. She tweeted @melindaharing.

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    the of the Eurasia Center The mission is to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values ​​and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the west to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the east.

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    ]]> http://ibelarus.net/no-regrets-one-woman-in-whites-exiled-story/feed/ 0 Is a new democratic wave emerging? – OpEd – Eurasia Review http://ibelarus.net/is-a-new-democratic-wave-emerging-oped-eurasia-review/ http://ibelarus.net/is-a-new-democratic-wave-emerging-oped-eurasia-review/#respond Thu, 23 Sep 2021 18:08:32 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/is-a-new-democratic-wave-emerging-oped-eurasia-review/

    In the recent early elections in Moldova on July 11, 2021, the pro-presidential liberal pro-European Action and Solidarity Party won a majority of 53% of the parliamentary seats, leaving its main rival, the Electoral bloc of the socialists and communists, with only 27% of the votes well behind.

    It is noteworthy that Maia Sandu, who previously headed the PAS, convincingly defeated the socialist pro-Russian incumbent Igor Dodon in the runoff election in the presidential election in December 2020 with 58%. It should come as no surprise, as this victory by liberal democratic forces is only the latest in this emerging trend. Perhaps it is too early to speak of a trend, but the events of recent years in the number of former Soviet countries give cause for optimism.

    Several societies in the post-Soviet space have seen a series of events in recent years that can be described as “electoral revolutions”. Indeed, in 2018 and 2021 in Armenia, 2019 in Ukraine, 2020 in Moldova and right now, the liberal democratic forces were able to win their national elections and defeat the old and corrupt regimes.

    The mass protests known as the Velvet Revolution in Armenia in spring 2018 resulted in the semi-authoritarian and corrupt regime of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan being replaced by the united democratic anti-corruption forces led by Nikol Pashinyan.

    In the recent early parliamentary elections, held on June 20, 2021 and due to a political crisis caused by Armenia’s defeat in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, Civil contract again received the majority of the votes. The Armenians once again supported the liberal democratic forces, clearly showing their support for an open and participatory political order and the continuation of the reforms aimed at democratic consolidation and the rule of law.

    The electoral revolution in Ukraine in the 2019 presidential and early parliamentary elections resulted in an overwhelming victory for a total newbie in politics Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his party. Servant of the peoplewho convincingly defeated the corrupt old political elite, who had no interest in the profound political and economic reform that removed the barriers to consolidated democracy and the rule of law.

    All these events took place in the countries of the former Soviet Union, which, unlike the majority of post-Soviet societies such as Russia, Belarus or countries in Central Asia, did not revert to authoritarianism or even totalitarianism.

    These societies were stuck in the limbo of semi-authoritarian, semi-democratic, corrupt hybrid regimes. Such mixed regimes, also called competitive authoritarianism, combine features of democracy and authoritarianism. They seriously lack the rule of law and strong democratic institutions as the most important prerequisites for consolidated democracy. However, such regimes tolerate competition for political office, and elections take place regularly.

    In these regimes, the incumbents, who usually represent the old corrupt elites, use a variety of techniques to create an uneven playing field to ensure their re-election. Techniques include exploiting administrative resources, controlling the major media, harassing opposition and civil society, and even falsifying election results. This enables the political leadership to defeat the opposition and civil society forces and stay in power. But that’s not always the case.

    Unlike in the consolidated authoritarian regimes, the opposition forces can defeat the ruling regimes under certain circumstances. That happened from the 1980s through the 2010s in the former communist countries and beyond, and has been known as color revolutions. The Yellow Revolution in the Philippines in 1986, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 or the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 are just a few examples of such movements.

    However, many observers have noted that over the past decade the tendencies towards democratic relapse have also become evident in consolidated democracies and the rise of authoritarianism around the world. Some even argue that the growing support for authoritarianism and illiberal order comes not only from corrupt elites, but also from common people, especially in post-communist Europe.

    Nonetheless, the recent electoral revolutions described above may prove to be excessive. Such an optimistic outlook is also based on the fact that the mass protests of the last two years have taken place not only in semi-democratic regimes, but even in consolidated autocracies such as Belarus or in totalitarian regimes such as Iran or China (Hong Kong). Tolerate illiberal and corrupt regimes more.

    This is evident even in communist Cuba, where protests began on July 11, 2021 dictatorship. The protesters shouted “We are not afraid” and “Freedom”. The government‘s sluggish response put people at ease for the time being, but the possible outcome of these protests is still unclear as their causes have not been addressed.

    But one thing is clear: the global fight for freedom is far from over. Hopefully today we see the emerging new wave of democratization across the world.

    * Oleg Chupryna, PhD student, John & Pat Hume Doctoral Scholar, Department of Sociology, Center for European and Eurasian Studies, Maynooth University

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    “Demographic Crisis”: Central European minds hold out against migration http://ibelarus.net/demographic-crisis-central-european-minds-hold-out-against-migration/ http://ibelarus.net/demographic-crisis-central-european-minds-hold-out-against-migration/#respond Thu, 23 Sep 2021 17:47:48 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/demographic-crisis-central-european-minds-hold-out-against-migration/

    Heads of state and government from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina took part in the fourth demographic summit in Budapest./Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

    Heads of state and government from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina took part in the fourth demographic summit in Budapest./Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

    Political leaders from Central and Eastern Europe have signed a declaration against migration as Europe faces a “demographic crisis”.

    The joint declaration by the close allies Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Serbia names migration more as a problem than as a solution to falling birth rates – and calls on the bloc to keep family policy under national jurisdiction.

    It comes as Hungary and Poland face ongoing legal action by the European Union over anti-LGBT + policies. Governments also share a similar anti-migration stance, with barbed wire fences being built on the border with Poland to stop migrants trying to cross the border from Belarus. Hungary built a fence on its southern border in 2015.

    The Conservative leaders met with speakers and academics on Thursday at the fourth Budapest Demography Summit. The group shared similar concerns that migration is changing demographics on the continent and now plans to increase their countries’ populations through birth rates rather than taking in people.

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    Strategies were also shared that they hope will help keep nuclear families and Christian values ​​at the heart of government policies. One element commented by several heads of state and government was the granting of tax breaks to newlyweds and young families – something that Hungary says has resulted in more children being born.

    Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban set the tone at the two-day event, declaring his country vaccinated against “woke up” thinking. He also defended Hungary’s anti-LGBT + law, which bans the promotion and display of homosexuality and sex reassignment for those under the age of 18. The latest legislation has been widely condemned and criticized for equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

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    Orban reiterated that Budapest would not step back from the legislation following the recent challenges from Brussels. The law is seen as violating union values ​​and discriminating against people based on their orientation.

    One of the keynote speakers on the first day of the summit was former US Vice President Mike Pence, who was visiting Hungary for the first time. He used his speech to congratulate Budapest and its neighbors for maintaining a firm stance on migration, saying that a government cannot support working-class families and immigrants.

    He also spoke of traditional family values ​​which he believes are being pushed aside in many parts of the world.

    “The good news is here in Hungary and elsewhere in the region, we are finding evidence that good governance and policies can reverse demographic decline. I think it is no coincidence that this family restoration in Hungary and Poland and in countries across the region, I think it happens here for a reason, “he told the audience.

    Many of the politicians attending the summit face national elections within the next 12 to 18 months. The anti-immigrant stance is popular with Orban voters in Hungary, with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis fighting for similar values. The attitude towards migration and issues such as the rights of homosexuals is in stark contrast to many other EU countries.

    Video editing: Andras Nagy

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