Human Rights Watch published its 23rd annual World Report. It summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2012. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff has undertaken during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.
Belarus chapter of the Report underlines that the Belarusian government continues to severely curtail freedoms of association, assembly, and expression, and the right to fair trial. New restrictive legislative amendments paved the way in 2012 for even more intense governmental scrutiny of civil society organizations and activists. Governmental harassment of human rights defenders, independent media, and defense lawyers continues, including through arbitrary bans on foreign travel. At this writing, at least 12 political prisoners remain jailed. Allegations of torture and mistreatment in custody persist.