OREANDA-NEWS. The international non-profit organization CIVICUS has worsened the rating of Belarus in terms of civil liberties. Its assessment, as follows from the organization's annual report published on Wednesday, December 8, has been lowered from «repressed» to «closed».

«This means that an atmosphere of fear and violence prevails in Belarus, people are regularly imprisoned and attacked for exercising their civil rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression», the document says.

The organization noted the rapid deterioration of the protection of civil liberties in Belarus recently, expressing concern about «the ongoing repression against anti-government demonstrators who took to the streets last year». The report notes that there are currently about 900 political prisoners in Belarus.

This year, CIVICUS assessed the state of civil society freedoms in 197 countries around the world. Belarus is the only European country that has received the «closed» rating. 24 other countries have the same rating, including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.

In August 2020, presidential elections were held in Belarus, following which the CEC announced the victory of Alexander Lukashenko with a result of more than 80 percent. On the day of the vote, mass protests began in the country, stretching for several months. The speeches of citizens convinced of the falsification of election results were severely suppressed by riot police.

The European Union, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have imposed several packages of sanctions against the regime in Belarus.