High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Since the election of the country`s first president, Aleksandr Lukashenko in July 1994, Lukashenko has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place. Belarus, “republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship” is viewed as a rogue state by the United States and European democracies, i.e. the one whose conduct is out of line with international norms of behaviour and whose regime is considered to grossly violate human rights.