It seems that every time I look at my phone, there is a news alert telling me about a new catastrophe somewhere around the globe. In the midst of the Paris terror attacks and the latest confrontation between Turkey and Russia, it is easy to assume that human rights abuses today are centered around violent conflict, often on an international scale. While these crises are worth our attention and concern, it is important to remember that there are still domestic issues being overlooked.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported earlier this year on the status of human rights in Belarus, and the outlook was—and continues to be—bleak. HRW stated:
The human rights situation in Belarus has deteriorated drastically and was marked by flawed presidential elections in 2010 and an ensuing crackdown on peaceful protesters and opposition activists. During the Human Rights Council’s initial review of Belarus...in 2010, the government rejected recommendations to protect freedom of speech, association, and assembly, as well as to implement a moratorium on the death penalty…Belarus continues to use the death penalty and to severely restrict freedom of expression and association, including through harassment and intimidation of journalists and restrictive nongovernmental organization (NGO) laws.