International human rights organizations condemn newest wave of repressions against civil society in Belarus
On 14 July 2021, law enforcement officers in Belarus organized a massive raid against human rights organizations and other NGOs, human rights defenders and activists. More than 19 offices of NGOs were searched, including the offices of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Legal Transformation Center (Lawtrend), the Centre for Information and Legal Support of Socially Vulnerable Groups "Advocacy", the International Public Association “Gender Perspectives", the Belarusian Association of Journalists, and Human Rights Centre 'Viasna' (HRC 'Viasna').
Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemned this newest wave of repressions against civil society in Belarus, whose work is legitimate and peaceful. The organization called on the Belarusian regime to immediately release all political prisoners, including those that were detained on 14 July 2021. They also said that Sweden and the international community must act to ensure accountability for the blatant human rights violations perpetrated by Lukashenka’s regime.
Front Line Defenders expressed serious concerns by the detention, searches and ongoing judicial prosecution of human rights organisations and human rights defenders in Belarus, and believes that they are being targeted solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful human rights work. Front Line Defenders urged the authorities in Belarus to immediately release detained human rights defenders, drop the charges against them, and cease targeting human rights defenders and human rights organisations in the country.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet commented on Belarus's situation:
I have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating situation in Belarus and call once again on the Government to cease their policy of intimidating and harassing civil society and media workers. Those still detained should be released immediately.