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Belarus legislation to curb dissent condemned by rights groups, opposition

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] Opposition activists and human rights groups have condemned the restrictive amendments [JURIST report] to Belarus' Criminal Code that were passed unanimously [official press release in Russian] by the country's upper house of parliament. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [official website] also expressed concern [press release]. The amendments criminalize activities such as the "discrediting" of Belarus, participating in mass demonstrations, and financing political opposition parties, as well as an anti-terrorism provision. Parliament justified the amendments as necessary to prevent a "color revolution" from occurring in Belarus similar to the ones experienced by Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan [JURIST reports] in the past year. The changes won't take effect until signed into law by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko [Wikipedia profile]. Radio Free Europe has more.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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