Belarus: Draft law prevents citizens gathering in public

A draft law published in Belarus on Friday prohibits the “joint mass presence of citizens in a public place that has been chosen beforehand, including an outdoor space, and at a scheduled time for the purpose of a form of action or inaction that has been planned beforehand and is a form of public expression of the public or political sentiments or protest.” The draft adds that anyone proven to be taking part in such a gathering would be subject to 15 days of administrative arrest. The Belarusian government is continuing to develop various methods of stifling protest in the country. Demonstrators have been equally creative in finding ways to rally against President Lukashenko and the country’s economic crisis. In July, clapping protests swept the nation, forcing the concurrent Independence Day military parade to be held in silence to avoid disruption.