Amnesty International condemns beatings at Freedom Day celebration
The international human rights organization has issued an official note concerning the events of 25 March in Minsk.
The organization condemned the excessive use of force against participants of the peaceful rally 25 March 2008, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic. According to the witnesses, human rights activists and journalists, the police beat the marchers with feet and truncheons. More than 100 persons were arrested, 76 of them – tried by courts. The Nasha Niva journalist Andrei Liankevich was beaten and arrested, two Lithuanian journalists were beaten as well.
Amnesty International demands immediate and unconditional release of those who were imprisoned for peaceful expression of their views. The organization also called the Belarusian authorities to abide by their undertakings in conformity with articles 19, 21 and 22 of the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by which the freedom of opinion, assembly and association is guaranteed. Amnesty International calls the official Minsk to immediately stop putting obstacles, pressurizing and intimidation of the civil society activists dealing with protection of human rights.