Environmentalism Behind Bars

Civic Activists in Times of Repression in Belarus

12 November 2020

In a country that is gripped by mass protests, Belarusian activists are arrested and trapped in a dysfunctional legal system.

Nearly three months since the presidential election, Belarus is coloured in white and red: mass arrests, beatings, kidnappings and exiles led by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not break people’s demand to elect a new head of state in a free and fair election.

Last weekend, thousands of people marched in Minsk to protest Lukashenka’s abhorrent measures to stay in power. More than a 1,000 people were arrested on 8 November, some well-known environmentalists, lawyers and journalists among them.

Some call the series of powerful protests a revolution against the ‘last dictator of Europe – a man, who during his twenty-six years in power has built a stable authoritarian system, relying on a loyal parliament, judiciary, military and law enforcement.

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Daria Solomennikova

Daria Solomennikova is a poet, journalist and writer from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her work focuses on environmental activism in politics and intercultural encounters in Europe and Russia.

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