Statement of the Human Rights Center Viasna: Belarusian authorities use provocative methods of fighting political opponents
The Human Rights Center Viasna brings attention of the Belarusian and international community to the reinforcement of a campaign of repression against democratic opposition in Belarus in the past month.
The authorities are putting behind the bars politicians and public activists for far-fetched reasons.
On 15 May 2005 the police arrested and imprisoned Siarhei Skrabiets, the former deputy of the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, a member of the parliamentary group Republic and an active opponent of the incumbent authorities.
The Human Rights Center Viasna believes the arrest of Siarhei Skrabiets is politically motivated and connected with his civil, political and parliamentary activity.
Valiery Lievaneuski and Aliaxandr Vasilieu, the leaders of the businessmen's movement, are serving a sentence in prison for defamation of the president. Mikhail Marynich, a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the 12th convocation, is another political prisoner.
Prof. Iury Bandazheuski convicted for his civil position on the Chernobyl problems and recently refused conditional release remains in prison.
The health of the prisoners has significantly deteriorated since they were imprisoned, there is a real danger to their lives.
The public activist Andrei Klimau, a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation, continues to stay in custody for organization of a peaceful protest on 25 March 2005.
Paval Sieviaryniets and Mikola Statkievich will soon be tried for an attempt to implement their legal right of peaceful assembly, for voicing their civil protest against the results of the unconstitutional and falsified referendum.
Another reason for concern is the dirty deceitful propaganda campaign masterminded by the authorities and conducted by the state television against the regime opponents, which creates fear and tension in society, and thereby paves the way for another wave of reprisals.
The recent provocative statement released by the television claimed that the opposition activists are behind the smuggling of weapons and ammunition into Belarus.
The Human Rights Center Viasna demands release of all political prisoners in Belarus, and also stop the information hysteria aimed against the Belarusian democratic opposition and the neighboring countries.
Adopted by the Council of the Human Rights Center Viasna on 17 May 2005.