Statement of Human Rights Center "Viasna": New wave of political repression has started in Belarus
The Parliamentary election and the republican referendum in Belarus were conducted with numerous violations of the national electoral legislation and international standards. The falsifications and manipulations that were committed during the electoral campaign resulted in the wave of fair protest of the country’s citizens. That’s why the authoritarian regime in Belarus started an unheard assault on human rights and liberties.
More than sixty persons were detained for participation in the peaceful protest actions of 18-20 October. 29 of them were arrested, seven fined huge sums. Some of the participants of the action (including minor girls) were severely beaten by the police. The leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka was hospitalized, as well as a female activist of youth democratic movement, who was unconscious.
The Main Board of Internal Affairs of Minsk City Executive Committee initiated a criminal case against the activists of oppositional parties Maryna Bahdanovich, Aliaksandr Tsynkevich and the human rights activist Aleh Volchak for organization of the protest actions in Minsk. All of the accused took part in the election as candidates to the Parliament.
Such fundamental civil rights and liberties as the liberty of expression, the liberty of speech, the freedom of assembly and association are violated more and more often. There has been established a strict system of censorship and opposition-minded citizens are harassed.
Human Rights Center “Viasna” considers the situation in the country as a new wave of political repression, aimed at complete suppression of civil rights and liberties and establishment of dictatorial regime.
21 October 2004, Minsk