Belarus: Back to old methods for fighting dissident voices
The prominent opposition journalist and founder of the opposition publication Belarusian Partisan (http://www.belaruspartisan.org ) Pavel Sheremet who lives in Moscow and also has Russian citizenship, has received official notification from the Belarusian Embassy that his citizenship has been annulled.
Sheremet worked for many years as the Russian TV channel ORT Belarus correspondent on Belarus.
According to Belarusian law, Belarusian nationals can be stripped of their citizenship if they serve in another country’s armed forces, police, security service or other state body. Sheremet is adamant that this does not apply to him and that there are no legal grounds for cancelling his citizenship.
He believes that this may augur a new crackdown on journalists and the last vestiges of freedom of speech in Belarus.
Such treatment of prominent dissidents comes from Soviet times. Those whose persecution had elicited protest (Petro Grigorenko) or whose arrest would have provoked an international scandal (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya, and many others), were simply stripped of their citizenship.