Tech firms threaten to quit Belarus after crackdown, internet outages

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By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Andrei Makhovsky
MOSCOW/MINSK (Reuters) – For Belarus’s thriving tech industry, it didn’t matter much that the country’s president referred to the internet as “garbage” and state factories as the engine of economic success. Until now.
The sector could become a casualty of weeks of violent political crisis in the east European country, putting at risk a source of foreign income that is worth 5% of exports.
The staff of international IT companies have joined mass protests and are threatening to quit Belarus after the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko on August 9 that his opponents say was rigged.
Stories of tortured detainees and the sight of plainclothes officers grabbing protesters off the street made working life difficult for the Minsk employees of the California-based software-maker PandaDoc, its chief executive Mikita …

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