New political prisoner appeared in Belarus
Statement of the Human Rights Center Viasna in conjunction with the arrest of Alexander Barazenka
On October 27th , 2008 in Minsk civic activist Alexander Barazenka was taken into custody and placed in the detention center.
Alexander is one of the accused in the “process of the fourteen” -- the criminal case instigated under Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus against participants of the peaceful protest action of entrepreneurs that took place in Minsk on January 10th, 2008.
We are especially concerned by the fact that Alexander Barazenka was arrested on the background of certain concessions of the European Union to the Belarusian authorities: suspension of sanctions against top Belarusian officials, restoration of contacts of the EU countries with the official Minsk, etc.
It’s worth mentioning that one of the main conditions for such dialog has been the absence of political prisoners in the country and absence of politically-motivated persecution of the opponents of the regime.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” reminds, that the freedom of peaceful assemblies and freedom of expression is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, and the international norms in the sphere of human rights.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” strongly protests against the arrest of Alexander Barazenka, considers his persecution to be politically-motivated, and demands his immediate release from the authorities.