Lukashenko signs law on deprivation of citizenship for "extremism"

Aleksandr Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, signed a law on the deprivation of citizenship for "extremist activities" for Belarusians living outside their country

Source: Official website of the President of the Republic of Belarus; Radio Svoboda

Quote: "The law signed by the president is aimed at improving the legislation on citizenship in order to ensure national security."

Details: According to the new law, which will come into force in the summer of 2023, it will be possible to deprive Belarusians, who live outside the country and are convicted of extremism or "causing serious harm" to the interests of the state, of their citizenship.

Opposition leaders who are in exile after the 2020 presidential election may fall under the definition.

According to the wording of the law, it will be possible to deprive Belarusians of their citizenship even for those who do not have another passport. Belarus is one of the few European states that has not signed the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

The new law also obliges Belarusian citizens to notify the authorities of the acquisition of citizenship or a residence permit in another country. Documents giving the right to receive a residence permit, for example, a Karta Polaka [Pole's Card - document confirming the holder belongs to the Polish nation], also fall under the requirement.

Background: Lukashenko has allowed the Belarusian citizenship of persons who obtained it through naturalisation to be revoked for "extremism".

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