A government crackdown on civil society started in 2017, with authorities carrying out the broadest wave of arrests of peaceful protesters since 2010. For the first time in 10 years, authorities registered a political opposition movement, NAME, although no new political party has been able to register since 2000. Restrictive legislation continues to prevent rights groups from registering and operating freely. Belarus is the only European country to still use the death penalty and the authorities have not undertaken any steps towards its abolition. European governments and institutions continue to strengthen relations with Belarus despite the lack of tangible rights improvements.
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