Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

March 13, 2006

A European Belarus

Since Lukashenko came to power, dozens of independent newspapers and hundreds of NGOs have disappeared, and thousands of entrepreneurs have suffered losses. Moreover, speaking the Belarusian language is today considered as a sign of belonging to the riotous opposition.

This is not normal. Freedom of conscience, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of information, freedom of economic activity; these are the remedies to escape the totalitarian failure which Belarusian people face today.

'Stability' is the message transmitted through newspapers, radio and state-owned TV all day long. However, this stability is a synonym of stagnation. Civil society is deadlocked, paralysed by fear, with no impartial information available. Free elections are impossible when any criticism of the authorities is deemed a criminal act and an attack on the state. Schools and educational establishments were required to teach the state ideology and teachers who did not comply were removed. Others closed down because their existence was at odds with the prevailing homo sovieticus ideology. People of Belarus must be freed from the shackles of fear and be aware of the alternative.

Full article.