The Belarus regime’s latest move in increasing the budget revenues amid the economic crisis, targets small businessmen and entrepreneurs in the country. The Belarus government has begun requiring small private business to obtain costly certificates guaranteeing the quality of their products. One of the protesters said that they are not against the certificates per se, but against the price for such certificate which reaches from 100-200 USD while an equivalent certificate in the rest of Europe costs about 5 EUR. The demonstration in Minsk was the largest protest in recent years, in an authoritarian country where little tolerance has been showed for dissent.

Read more at Associated Press

Investigative journalist and author Svetlana Alexievich to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. “They pretend I don’t exist”, “I am not published [in Belarus], and I cannot speak publicly anywhere.” says Alexievich, a vocal critic of totalitarianism.

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Lukashenka’s refusal to building a contentious air base on Belarusian territory may have an impact on the upcoming Belarusian election and future.

Read the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty article here

The BPF Party supported nomination of Tatsiana Karatkevich, who is a “Tell the Truth” campaign activist and Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) member, as candidate for president in the 2015 presidential elections. She would like to run as candidate for president not from a single organization, but from the whole “People’s Referendum” coalition.
Next presidential elections must take place no later than on November 20, 2015.

Read more about the nomination in the article posted on the BPF’s website.

JHS Winter School 2014 Balkan

Participants from the Balkans during the JHS Winter School 2014

November 11-18, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organised two conferences on ideology for political active youth from the Eastern Neighbourhood. The conferences were held in Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm. Topics at the conference treated the principles from our book Principles for a Free Society by Dr Nigel Ashford. (more…)

Unga politiker från Azerbajdzjan, Georgien, Moldavien, Sverige och Vitryssland

Youth Politicians from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Sweden

March 11-18, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted two conferences for youth politicians from Eastern Europe and Sweden, on the principles for a free society together with Nigel Ashford from Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Basic concepts for a liberal democracy, as private property, free enterprise and toleration where among the issues discussed.
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November 21-24, a group of Belarusian opposition politicians made a study visit to Stockholm together with the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation and the American International Republican Institute. Next year, local elections will be held in Belarus and the theme for the study visit was therefore campaigning. (more…)

June 18, the American think-tank Freedom House released this year’s edition of the annual report Nations in Transit.

The desire for democratic change in Eurasia was met with increased repression in most authoritarian regimes during the last year. Increased corruption and censorship of critical media outlets as well as an increased pressure on civil society organisations characterize the developments in a majority of Eurasian countries, according to the report.

Read the report

May 3-6, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged this year’s Spring School, a conference on ideology with young politicians from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Sweden. The conference was held in Nynashamn, south of Stockholm, and topics such as democracy, market economy and human rights were discussed, as well as more practical issues about further EU enlargement and the situation in the Eastern Partnership countries. (more…)