Appeal of the civil initiative Vyzvalenne (Release) to the governments of the EU, USA and the Russian Federation and the global community

2011 2011-01-06T20:00:04+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Hundreds of Belarusian citizens were detained following the recent presidential election and the ensuing peaceful protests.

Many of the detainees were sentenced to administrative arrest or payment of penalty. In our opinion, the crackdown against the peaceful action was triggered by a group of provocateurs that can be identified using the available photo and video footage. We cannot comprehend that the authorities have not sought to detain these provocateurs.

On 29-30 December, the 22 suspects held in the KGB pre-trial detention centre, including four presidential candidates (Aliaksei Mikhalevich, Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Andrei Sannikau and Mikola Statkevich) were presented with official charges under p.1 and 2 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (organization of, and taking part in mass riots).

The charges were also presented to electioneering agents of the presidential candidates. A pre-trial restriction of two months in custody was imposed upon all of them.

The wife of Mr Sannikau, Iryna Halip, is among those held in the KGB pre-trial detention center. This makes their three-year old son, left without the care of his parents, a hostage of the situation.

According to our information, some of the detained persons (Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Andrei Sannikau, Natallia Radzina, Mikola Statkevich) require urgent medical help, which cannot be provided in the KGB pre-trial detention centre.

In this regard, we call on A.Lukashenka to free all hostages taken by him – the presidential candidates, their electioneering agents, journalists and those people who were unlawfully detained.

We call upon all citizens of Belarus, as well as the global community – primarily the leaders of the European Union, the US and Russia – to join these demands. We propose the creation of an international committee for investigation of the crimes that took place during the elections on 19 December 2010 in Belarus.

We believe that the US, the EU and the Russian Federation should impose comprehensive, tough sanctions against the Belarus regime and demand the release of all those arrested and detained in connection with ‘the case of 19 December 2010’.