According to the country’s president, NGOs are full of “lawless and foreign agents”.
In Belarus more than 40 NGOs were forcibly closed on Friday, AFP news agency reported.
According to the human rights organization Vjasna, the country’s Ministry of Justice has begun a process to close down 43 organizations around the country.
In the background is the president Alexander Lukashenko the desire to get rid of Belarusian NGOs, which he said are full of “lawless and foreign agents”.
Among the organizations closed were the Belarusian Union of Journalists, the writers’ organization PEN and the influential business school in Minsk, AFP says.
In addition, youth, charity and animal rights organizations as well as cultural centers were involved.
Part NGOs were only heard about the closure in the news.
“No one is telling us why we are in liquidation,” Human Constanta, a refugee rights organization, said in a statement, according to AFP.
“Belarus is increasing pressure on civil society,” the statement said.
Earlier in July, the Belarusian security service rode the offices of at least five independent human rights organizations as well as several opposition groups. In addition, the security service arrested several activists.
Among the organizations ridden were Vyasna and the local journalists’ association, among others. Prior to that, access to the online publication of the oldest newspaper in the country was blocked and editorials of several newspapers were ridden.
Read more: In Belarus, offices of human rights organizations and opposition groups were ridden
Measures the reason is the desire of the Belarussian administration to seek to silence critical voices and opposition.
When meeting with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin earlier in July, Lukashenko vowed to bring to justice all the “miserable” NGOs in the country.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stated last week, the raids were “completely unacceptable”.
“I am deeply concerned about recent developments in Belarus,” the commissioner said in a statement.