26 September 2021,   01:34
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Belarus shuts down more NGOs amid continued crackdown

Belarus has forced the closure of 15 more nongovernmental organizations as strongman Aleksandr Lukashenko’s crackdown against pro-democracy activists, the independent media, and civil rights groups continues to intensify, writes Radio Liberty.

The groups ordered to close on July 23 include the Human Constanta human rights center, the Names charity organization, the BelSetka Anti-AIDS group, an organization that assists disabled people, and an animal rights group.

The latest round of closures come a day after Lukashenka threatened to “cleanse” the country of NGOs - which he called “bandits and foreign agents” - and a week after security forces raided the homes of dozens of journalists and rights activists.

In all, 51 NGOs are facing closure, including the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the biggest and most-respected media organization in the country, and the Belarusian PEN Center, an association of writers led by Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature.

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