The regime continues to flout the law as suppression of civil society and media activities continues
The actions of the security forces orchestrating the transit of migrants via Belarusian territory in contravention of Belarusian law causes resentment among the population and misunderstandings among some civil servants. The price of participation in democratic initiatives and independent media continues to increase as criminal prosecutions expand.
The rule of law is being undermined by exempting transit migrants from the framework of Belarusian legislation, leading to confusion and civil service dysfunction in the border zone. Dissatisfaction with the Belarusian leadership is spreading amongst state employees as well as political opponents.
The authorities are intensifying their anti-corruption campaign with the arrest of senior managers at MAZ and BelAZ. Having crushed the protest movement and suppressed street and online activities, the attention of the security forces is switching to the state apparatus and both public and private business.
Internal security agents continue to target independent media and journalists while also disrupting initiatives to mobilise opposition supporters to pressure the regime. BelaPAN has been classified as an extremist ‘formation’, and investigators have opened a criminal case concerning the “Peramoha” plan formulated by the BYPOL group of ex-security forces personnel.
Meanwhile, the Lukashenka regime continues to refuse to engage in dialogue with democratic forces and criticises the announced international conference in Vienna to address the Belarusian crisis.
The number of political prisoners has increased to 847 people. Legislation to suppress dissent may be tightened: officials are calling for supporters of international sanctions to be deprived of property and citizenship. The list of extremist Telegram channels continues to expand.
Dismal approval ratings for state institutions and persistent protest sentiments stoke fears within the regime of possible political mobilisation during the constitutional referendum. Consequently, the security forces will continue to play the leading role in domestic political strategy.
Fabrication of pro-government “human rights” organisations proceeds, apparently for the purposes of international representation. The authorities are mobilising pro-regime activists to rally near the Polish embassy regarding the illegal migrant dispute.
The government remains optimistic about the economy as foreign trade surges by 31%, generating a surplus of USD 2.738 billion and a BYN 1.1 billion boost to the state budget, despite trade sanctions.
In summary, the state continues to target activists and participants in Telegram channels, increasing the frustration of supporters of change.