There has been no meaningful improvement in Belarus’s poor human rights record. Freedom of expression and association continues to be severely restricted. Authorities routinely harass and interfere with the work of independent and opposition journalists and bloggers. Restrictive legislation on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) undermines their ability to operate. Activists have been arbitrarily detained to prevent them from participating in public events. Even those pardoned or released, can remain on “preventative watch lists,” which authorize police to question them frequently.  Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community face deep-rooted homophobia and discrimination. Belarus remains the only European country to use the death penalty.