Statement of Human Rights Center Viasna: Belarusian authorities use more and more violent, ruthless and provocative methods of struggle with their opponents.
Human Rights Center Viasna is extremely concerned with the intensification of repressions against representatives of democratic opposition during the last months. Well-known public and political activists of Belarus are put behind bolt and bar for the reasons that are invented or provoked by the authorities.
For instance, the criminal case against Anatol Shumchanka, a leader of the businessmen’s movement, has been brought on fabricated accusations. He will be kept in jail till trial.
Criminal cases were brought against Pavel Seviarynets and Mikalai Statkevich for participation in the protest action against the falsified referendum that took place in October 2004.
Zmitser Bandarenka, coordinator of the public initiative Charter-97, the activists of Zubr and Young front Mikita Sasim, Maksim Viniarski, Zmitser Dashkevich and Artur Finkevich were also arrested for fabricated reasons. Participants of peaceful protest and other mass actions are detained and arrested everyday. The KGB pressurization of the activists of democratic youth movements increased as well.
The prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marynich still hasn’t received the necessary medical treatment. Human Rights Center Viasna considers it as torture and inhuman treatment that the administration of the penal colony of Orsha hasn’t given to Marynich the necessary medicines. The authorities of Belarus violate their undertakings upon the ratified UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by their attitude and actions towards Mikhail Marynich.
Valery Levaneuski and Aliaksandr Vasilieu, leaders of the businessmen’s movement, have been imprisoned for insult to president and are kept in jail.
The professor Iury Bandazheuski, who has been imprisoned for his public position concerning the consequences of Chernobyl catastrophe, is still in jail. The authorities refused to release him early though he has the legal right to it and his health is quite bad.
Pointing at the serious increase of political repressions in Belarus, Human Rights Center Viasna urges Belarusian public and international community to express their solidarity with the persons who are persecuted in Belarus for political reasons and to demand from Belarusian regime to urgently release all prisoners who have been illegally judged for political reasons.
Human Rights Center Viasna is of the opinion that the 61st session of the Un Commission on Human Rights should adopt a special resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus and prolong the mandate of the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus.
Human Rights Center Viasna also calls on international human rights organizations to foster the adoption of the resolution of the UN Committee and take other suitable measures for pressurizing A.Lukashenka’s regime in order to save human rights in Belarus.
The Board of Human Rights Center Viasna, 25 March 2005