Freedom in the World

Freedom in the World 2017



Freedom Status: 
Not Free
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Freedom in the World Scores

(0=Least Free, 100=Most Free)
(1=Most Free, 7=Least Free)

Quick Facts

Press Freedom Status: 
Not Free
Net Freedom Status: 
Not Free

Belarus is an authoritarian state in which elections are carefully managed and civil liberties are minimal. Limited displays of dissent have been permitted in recent years, as the war in neighboring Ukraine, growing regional tensions, and a struggling economy motivate the government to seek better relations with the European Union (EU) and the United States.

Key Developments in 2016: 
  • Parliamentary polls held in September failed to meet international standards for democratic elections. However, two opposition candidates won representation.
  • The European Union (EU) lifted most sanctions against Belarus in February.
  • The government permitted several street demonstrations.
  • Authorities continued to hold a number of political prisoners.
Executive Summary: 

As the government continued hosting consultations on the implementation of Minsk Agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine, the EU and United States muted their criticism of human rights abuses and the authoritarian political system in Belarus. The Belarusian government, meanwhile, worked to develop economically beneficial partnerships with both. The EU lifted most of its sanctions against the country in February

Parliamentary elections were held in September. Like previous elections, they failed to meet international standards. However, two independent candidates were admitted to the parliament for the first time since 2000. 

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Political Rights: 
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