Europe

Opposition struggles against Europe’s last dictator

The Washington Post reports on the brave democratic opposition to Europe’s last full-fledged dictator, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

On Saturday, July 9, Belarusan special security forces burst into the home of Uladzimir Kishkurna, an opposition political leader. Neither he nor his wife was home.

They arrested Kishkurna’s 22-year-old son, Anton, and claimed later that he had drugs and ammunition in his possession. But the real target of their raid appears to have been a printing press, a potent weapon in the hands of those seeking to topple the country’s autocratic president, Alexander Lukashenko. The press, confiscated by the authorities, was one of fewer than 10 of professional quality outside control of the state and was useful for printing tracts and posters against Lukashenko, opposition leaders said…

“To have a printing press, you need special permission of the Ministry of Information and Press,” said [human rights activist Alies] Bialiatski, who rushed to the Kishkurna home after hearing about the raid. “That machine was illegal in the best tradition of Soviet times.”

In another nostalgic nod to the Soviet past, the name of Belarus’s secret police is the KGB.

Addressing the United Nation this month, Lukashenko made clear where his political heart lies:

The leaders of the destroyed Yugoslavia and Iraq were put behind bars on groundless, absurd and far–fetched accusations. This was a very opportune way to conceal the truth about annihilation of their countries.

The trial of Milosevic was made into a caricature since long ago. Saddam Hussein was abandoned to the winner’s mercy, like in barbarian times.

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