Human Rights in Belarus
The Belarusian government continues to severely curtail freedoms of association, assembly, and expression, and the right to a fair trial. In 2012 new restrictive legislative amendments paved the way for even more intense governmental scrutiny of civil society organisations and human rights defenders. Harassment of human rights defenders, independent media, and defense lawyers by the authorities continues, including arbitrary bans on foreign travel. Several political prisoners remain behind the bars. Allegations of torture and mistreatment in custody persist. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus calls the restrictions on human rights “systemic and systematic”.