Minsk prosecutor’s office warns Platforma leader Andrei Bandarenka
Andrei Bandarenka, head of the Platforma human rights NGO that specializes in the protection of the rights of prisoners, has received an official warning from Minsk City Prosecutor’s Office on allegations of discrediting Belarus.
The warning was addressed to Mr. Bandarenka after Platforma urged the International Ice Hockey Federation not to hold the 2014 World Championship in Minsk as long as the country holds political prisoners and uses repressions against human rights defenders, journalists and civil society activists.
The prosecuting officials say the NGO’s appeal has “deliberately false data on the political and social events in the Republic of Belarus, as well as the legal status of Belarusian citizens, which discredits the Republic of Belarus and its governmental bodies.”
“The situation is absurd, as it is the Belarusian authorities who discredit the Republic of Belarus, by violating the rights of its citizens and disregarding the country’s Constitution. Moreover, warnings are addressed to those who dare speak about this. People are arrested for their beliefs, lawyers are disbarred, travel ban lists are compiled, police keep using violence against its citizens, the judiciary under total control of the regime and is deprived of independence. Meanwhile, they tell us that everything is OK in the country and we are before the rest of the world,” says Andrei Bandarenka.