Lukashenko’s Iron Grip Zhanna Litvina

2011 Oslo Freedom Forum
May 10, 2011

Belarusian journalist Zhanna Litvina describes the atmosphere of repression that surrounds the media in her country under dictator Alexander Lukashenko's efforts to control public information. She explains how the government has recognized the power of the internet in disseminating information and has created blacklists of sites to which access is limited. Litvina's account contains an important warning about modern dictatorships: they are flexible and need not spill the blood of their people to maintain power. Instead, she warns, they can use equally powerful methods—such as the repression of the media—to "rule the minds of the people."