Authorities probe oppositions mobilisation capacities ahead of elections
Minsk authorities have sanctioned the demonstration and opposition rally on March 25th under the slogan "Together for peace and independence!" dedicated to the Freedom Day (Dzien Voli).
The authorities have decided not to ban the traditional opposition rally, but have readjusted the timeframe – from 3 pm to 6 pm (instead of 6 pm to 9 pm) in order to create additional inconvenience for the organisers and to reduce participation. In addition, by observing the demonstration the Belarusian leadership will assess the opposition’s mobilisation capacity and evaluate the security forces’ readiness to control the situation during mass opposition actions ahead of the presidential election. Depending on participation and the course of the demonstration, the Belarusian authorities will choose more or less rigid scenario for the election campaign in 2015
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.