FIDH: "Belarus: Human rights situation at its worst a year after elections"
"Exactly one year after the presidential elections in Belarus, the situation is worse than ever. The international community, in particular the EU, cannot allow a dictatorship on its border to repress human rights defenders, opposition members and journalists with total impunity. We demand a strong reaction from the international community in calling for the release of FIDH Vice-President, Ales Bialiatski, and all other political prisoners" declared FIDH President Ms Souhayr Belhassen.
Since the repression of peaceful demonstrations at the 19 December 2010 elections, independent voice in Belarus has been stifled: members of the opposition and demonstrators have been beaten, arrested and sentenced to imprisonment; lawyers defending them have lost their licences;independent journalists are under pressure while State media launch constant diffamation campaign against all independent voices, including human rights defenders who are harrassed and under constant threat.
The situation described in FIDH's report of June 2011 remains current:
“The mass administrative detentions and arrests conducted on December 19-20, were characterized by their wanton use of force, interrogations, and by court proceedings conducted with gross violations of procedures, laws, and international standards. Fabricated criminal charges in an environment of complete control of the court system were followed by searches, interrogations, and a campaign of slander and fear against a wide range of civic and political activists. Amidst the constant stream of information about the cruel and degrading treatment, and of torture of detainees, there is practically no civil oversight over the institutions of detention in Belarus. Independent attorneys were also subjected to pressure and repression, while tens of students and citizens were expelled from their places of study or employment because of their civic or political activities. “Let’s put an end to this... there will not be any more of this senseless democracy”, was how President Lukashenko summed up the situation.