Simon Garnett

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29 July 2009

Whose rapprochement?

The continuing repression of the independent media exposes the Belarusian government’s concessions to “European standards” for what they are: window dressing on a regime that has no intention of releasing its stranglehold on society any time soon.

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The alarmist reaction from parts of the German media to a recent spate of violent assaults by migrant youths on “native” Germans – talk has been of a cultural clash – bore striking similarities to last year’s controversy over the release from prison of two former members of the Red Army Faction. In both cases, media sympathy for the “victims” of violence fed directly into political campaigns targeting the majority’s sense of embattlement.

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