No one knows how long Lukashenka will allow this "sharashka" to work.
Natallia Radzina, the editor-in-chief of the website Charter97.org, told about this in an interview with the Ukrainian internet edition GORDON.
– Ukrainian software engineers tell with excitement, that there is a huge technology park in Belarus, where IT companies from all over the world work on favorable terms.
– Web sites are blocked in the country and there is no freedom of speech even in the Internet, but there is a strictly controlled sharashka called High-Tech Park, where 30-40 thousand people feel good. No one knows how long Lukashenka will allow this techno park to work. In Belarus, prisons are almost a third filled with businesspersons and entrepreneurs, whose business the security forces are trying to grab or have already grabbed.
There are almost no major businesspersons left who has never been in prison. Not only does the large business operate under the Lukashenka's roof and has to share profits with him, but also people are forced to pay serious money for their release from prison, where they are thrown when the authorities try to grab their business. And it's not even covered up – Lukashenka says straight: if a person wants to get out of prison, let him pay.
– If the business is under control and regularly shovel money, why put businesspersons in jail and cut off such a source of income, if you can continue to milk them?
– It is done to make the businesspersons know their limits and don't turn into Akhmetovs, Kolomoyskyis, Grigorishins, Levochkins and others. So that there would not be a Seven Bankers' Cabal, as in Russia under Yeltsin. Every Belarusian businessperson should know who is the boss. And the boss is one – Lukashenka. In our country, all businesspersons are under the special services' searchlight, step sideward and you'll be punished. You need to put them in prison from time to time so that they remained on edge, especially if you need to plug another budget hole.
IT businessman Viktar Prakapenia spent in the KGB jail about a year, came out paying huge money and is promoting the Belarusian High-Tech Park in the West now. I think that was one of the conditions for his release. What is it done for? To show the West a "dictatorship with a human face."
The High-Tech Park is one of Lukashenka's toys. After all, he doesn’t even know how to use a computer, but he creates a picture for the West: we have our own Silicon Valley in Belarus. He needs such an improvement in the image to attract naive Western investors, who in fact will invest not in the country, but in the regime and dictatorship.