Belarusian secret services step up their activities ahead of presidential elections
Independent Belarusian journalist and military analyst Alexander Alesin, who was arrested on suspicion of spying for a foreign country, was released on bail from the KGB jail. Alexander Alesin was charged with treason and cooperating with the secret services of the security or intelligence agency of a foreign state. However, allegedly the main suspect in this case is a foreign diplomat. The Belarusian authorities are trying to restrict access of foreign countries even to open information about Belarus’ defence potential due to increased tensions in the region and mutual distrust. In addition, repressions against the opposition and independent civil society are likely to increase ahead of the presidential election, as well as accusations of cooperation with foreign intelligence services.
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.