Barbarism and disinformation: The authoritarian response to peaceful dissent


The presidential election in Belarus on 9 August was conducted the way many previous elections were conducted: opposition candidates were harassed and hounded out of the country; peaceful protesters, activists, journalists, and independent election monitors were detained; and, of course, the final vote count that handed President Lukashenka victory (once again) was highly dubious. However, what was new was the scale and passion of the protests that followed the vote, which saw many tens of thousands take to the streets all over the country calling for free elections and for President Lukashenka to go. The violence with which this political dissent was met stunned the international community. In Poland, homophobia is promoted and paid for by the government. It was reported this month that the town of Tuchow – which lost EU funding after it declared itself an “LGBT-free zone”- will receive financial support from the Law and Justice Party (PiS) government. Roughly one-third of Poland has declared itself an “LGBT-free zone”.

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