KGB can legally stop activists form leaving the country

Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed decree No. 295 on July 4.

The decree amends the Decree on Simplifying the Order of Exiting the Republic of Belarus of 2007.

In particular, the new amendments restrict exit from the country for the persons “on criminal watch list in state security bodies of the Republic of Belarus”. They will be put on the database by the KGB. Earlier, the KGB had the right to include in the blacklist only the persons who know state secrets. The rest were put on the list by the ministries of internal affairs, justice and defence.

The decree in fact legitimates a ban from leaving the country for opposition activists. This spring, the authorities had to look for formal reasons, often ridiculous, to impose travel ban on people. For example, Andrei Sannikov’s lawyer Maryna Kavaleuskaya was accused of draft dodging. Now, the KGB needs just put an opposition activist on criminal watch list to prohibit him from leaving the country.

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