Belarus and the Human Rights Council: Towards accountability for human rights violations (EN)
Amnesty International condemns a series of searches of journalists and human rights defenders on Tuesday
The Belarusian authorities have launched a new wave of brutal repression against civil society organizations and independent media, according to the human rights organization Amnesty International in connection with the mass searches and interrogations of leading human rights defenders, journalists and trade union activists on Tuesday.
«Having jailed or forcibly forced out of the country virtually everyone associated with the political opposition, the Belarusian authorities have now targeted human rights defenders and journalists whose only crime was to document gross violations of human rights committed by security forces in the aftermath of the contested presidential elections in August. last year», – said Aisha Dzhang, senior head of campaigns at Amnesty International for Belarus.
The organization sees this as a centralized attempt to destroy the country’s independent media and human rights organizations and prevent them from carrying out important and legitimate human rights and journalistic activities..
«The shocking and unprecedented state lawlessness we have witnessed since last year continues to occur despite widespread international criticism and concern.», – noted Jang.
«We condemn in the strongest terms these acts of brutal invasion, carried out under absolutely false pretexts, and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights. To support the people of Belarus, the international community must continue to do everything possible to protect human rights and oppose government repression of civil society in Belarus.», – she added.
On the morning of February 16, raids took place in the offices and homes of employees of the human rights center «Spring», The Belarusian Association of Journalists, the independent trade union REP and dozens of other civil society activists. The raids were carried out in Minsk, Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk and Brest. According to the Investigative Committee of Belarus, the investigation, within the framework of which the searches were carried out, was aimed at «establishing the circumstances of financing protest activities».