Earlier this month, Aliaksandr Lukashenka noted that, during his presidency, the Belarusian prison population has halved. He stressed that despite its dictatorship label, Belarus does not “throw everyone in prison.”
Statistics present a more complicated picture, however. During Lukashenka’s first term, in the mid-1990s, the incarceration rate dramatically increased, placing Belarus third worldwide in prisoners per capita.
Even though frequent amnesty laws are slowly decreasing its prison population, Belarus to this day has one of the highest shares of prisoners per capita in Europe.