People in Minsk, Belarus.  Editorial credit:  Michael715 /


Belarus is an authoritarian state in which elections are openly orchestrated and civil liberties are tightly restricted. After permitting limited displays of dissent as part of a drive to pursue better relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States, the government has more recently sought to increase control of the public sphere through restrictions on journalists, online media, and demonstrations. In an apparent attempt to mute criticism of the country’s rights record, penalties for dissent have increasingly taken the form of fines, or have been handed down after delays in order to avoid media coverage.

Freedom in the World 2021

Freedom in the World — Belarus Country Report

Belarus is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2021, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide. 

A young woman wearing a protective mask looks at her smartphone while passing by a grafitti representing two big watching eyes in Berlin, Germany on April 1, 2020. Illustrative Editorial (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Freedom on the Net — Belarus Country Report

Belarus is rated Not Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.