Over 120 protesters, journalists detained in unprecedented crackdown on peaceful dissent since March 3
According to human rights defenders, over 120 persons have been detained since March 3, including opposition activists, journalists and ordinary protesters.
At least 43 people have been imprisoned by the courts. Most of them are still serving their short jail terms.
Courts across Belarus continued today to convict protesters for their involvement in peaceful demonstrations.
UCP member Uladzimir Shantsau has been sentenced to a 15-day arrest in Mahilioŭ.
Yauhen Shymanski, activist of the anarchist movement, has been imprisoned for 15 days in Minsk.
Maksim Filipovich, a blogger in Homieĺ, has been charged with an administrative offense, despite already serving 13 days for protesting on March 5.
Mikalai Charnavus Jr. (son of opposition activist Mikalai Charnavus in Baranavičy) has been found guilty of violating restrictions on street protests and sentenced to 12 days of arrest.
Several activists have been sentenced to fines in Babrujsk, while Maksim Buinitski and former political prisoner Yauhen Vaskovich have been arrested for 15 days each.
The Frunzienski District Court of Minsk has sentenced Maryia Rabkova to 15 days in jail for involvement in a protest on March 5 in Brest.
Ihar Barysau, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party, was briefly detained and searched at the Minsk international airport while returning from a trip to Germany. His laptop and data storage devices were taken by security officials.
The detentions are aimed at preventing opposition activists from joining the protests expected to be held in the coming days, including four demonstrations today in Minsk, Hrodna, Viciebsk and Mahilioŭ.
“I fear that we may witness a deterioration of the human rights situation in Belarus and a new wave of repression,” human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich said.