Republic of Belarus

Violations of Academic Freedom

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This report by Human Rights Watch details how President Aleksandr Lukashenka's government has suppressed research on controversial topics, re-centralized academic decision- making, and maintained a ban on political activity on campuses. At the same time, a systematic crackdown on political dissent on campus has targeted outspoken students and lecturers who are threatened with expulsion, often for their off-campus political activity. Since President Lukashenka's election in 1994, the government has hounded or disbanded opposition political parties and nongovernmental organizations, and has stripped independent lawyers of their accreditation. His regime has also harassed and arrested peaceful political activists, and has severely curtailed the independent media. State university authorities issue reprimands and warnings to politically active lecturers, independent historians, and other academics. University employees who challenge the status quo are told to curtail political activities or change the focus of their academic enquiry.
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