Thursday, September 27, 2007


Nearly a week ago, I came across an interesting website entitled, presenting the project "The Community of Young Economists and Entrepreneurs" which was organized as a reaction to the lowest level of education in Belarus. The project aims to give opportunities to young students in Belarus to support their scientific work. This particular initiative is very ambitious indeed. In fact, Belarus is croaching in Soviet-styled political dictatorship together with poor track on the respect of human rights, civil and personal liberties. Doing business is difficult and the economic environment is embroiled by government involvement, protectionism and widespread corruption. Also, the education system is instilled by staunch ideological propaganda (here and here).

Regarding the practicing of human rights in Belarus, State Department reports:

"Prison conditions remained austere and were marked by occasional shortages of food and medicine and the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Leila Zerrougui, chairperson of a UN working group on arbitrary detention who visited the country in 2004, reported that conditions in detention centers were worse than those in prisons because of poor sanitary and living conditions and restrictions on visitation, phone, and mail privileges. According to human rights monitors, conditions in prison hospitals also were poor...The government restricted access to the Internet. Credible reports indicated that the government monitored e-mail and Internet chatrooms. Many individuals and groups could not engage in peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by electronic mail. During the March 19 presidential election, there were numerous credible reports that the government blocked several opposition campaign and independent media Web sites. Many opposition groups and independent newspapers have switched to Internet domains operated outside the country because of the government's campaign against Internet freedom. There also were credible reports that authorities attempted to block Radio Liberty's Web site in the country during the March presidential elections. On November 7, the NGO Reporters Without Borders again included the country on its annual list of "enemies of the internet," countries that censor independent news sites and opposition publications and monitor the Internet to stifle dissident voices."

Disclaimer: Capitalism & Freedom strongly supports "The Community of Young Economists and Entrepreneurs" in their efforts to pursue the ideas of individual and economic liberty, human rights, international awareness and knowledge development in Belarus.

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