Belarus has become increasingly isolated from the international community in recent years due to President Lukashenko’s de facto dictatorship.
The Parliamentary elections and constitutional referendum held in October 2004 fell significantly short of international democratic norms. The government continued to crack down on those opposing the existing regime.
In November 2002, most European Union member states declared President Lukashenko persona non grata. The UN and the Council of Europe issued resolutions in 2003 and 2004 on the forced disappearances of Belarusian opposition leaders.
The many political trials throw doubts on the judiciary’s independence. Executive interference threatens judges’ security of tenure by exerting political and economic pressures. Lawyers are constrained by the licence system controlled by the executive and those defending human rights are harassed and persecuted.
In 2003, 51 case courts ruled to close down local non-governmental organizations.
Belarus-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications