(VICE) In October of last year, Alexander Lukashenko swept to his fifth term as the Belarusian president, marking 22 years in power. Despite the elections being marred by allegations of fraud, the EU has this month lifted travel sanctions against Lukashenko’s government, as a reward for good behavior — the elections passed without a repeat of 2010’s violent crackdown against opposition parties. But critics argue that the EU is making a dangerous endorsement of an autocratic regime that still employs the use of internet surveillance, censorship, and intimidation to exert control over its people and press.
VICE News meets the Belarusian journalists and bloggers struggling to tell the truth about Belarus in this post-soviet dictatorship.
In BLACKOUT, a series made possible by Jigsaw, VICE News takes viewers across the globe, from Pakistan to Belarus, to examine technology’s role in the ongoing fight for free expression.