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The report refers to the practice of local authorities imposing unpaid work on the working population under a system called "subbotnik."
In a new report, the International Federation for Human Rights and the Belarusian human rights center Vyasna say forced labor and violations of workers' rights are widespread in Belarus.

They say Belarusian authorities "use every means possible to feed the country's economy to the detriment of its citizens' economic and social rights."

They also say that Belarus "forces large portions of its population to work, sometimes without pay and especially without the possibility to protest harsh or unfair conditions."

They cite media reports of students working on the construction of sports facilities for the international ice-hockey championship, of conscripts going to harvests, and of local authorities imposing unpaid work on the working population under a system called "subbotnik."

The report was presented in Minsk on December 10 to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned "outrageous and clearly illegal" attacks on the offices of three opposition mass media outlets in Kyiv.

In its December 10 statement, RSF said that "the raids on the offices of the newspaper 'Vechirni Visti,' the online TV station INTV, and the news website were serious violations of the freedom of information and Ukraine's constitutional guarantees."

RSF urged a complete investigation and said that if the Ukrainian Special Forces were responsible, "the competent authorities must explain their actions and be held accountable."'s editor, Yuriy Butusov, told RFE/RL that late on December 9 unidentified armed and masked people raided the offices of the three media outlets and removed all servers and databases.

The three mass media outlets belong to representatives of the opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party.

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