Ales Bialiatski: “We protest against the repressive actions of the authorities ahead of Freedom Day”
As previously reported by the Human Rights Center "Viasna", police in Minsk arrested several opposition figures, who were expected to lead a protest on March 25. The human rights activists are outraged by such actions of the authorities.
Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski expresses strong disapproval of what happened:
“On March 21, days before the Freedom Day celebrations, political activists Uladzimir Nyakliayeu, Viachaslau Siuchyk and Maksim Viniarski were detained in Minsk. Political activists Leanid Kulakou and Volha Nikalaichyk apparently faced administrative charges for the offenses they allegedly committed before. They, like Mikalai Statkevich, were blocked in their apartments and can be detained and convicted soon.
We, human rights defenders, view it as preventive detentions ahead of the officially authorized assembly marking the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the BPR’s independence. These detentions were aimed to prevent a banned march the activists scheduled on March 25.
It has no legal justification. This is unacceptable! For each of the citizens of Belarus has the right to peaceful assembly. The ban in this case looks disproportionate and constitutes groundless restriction on the freedom of peaceful assembly. It would do no harm if people were allowed to march through the streets of the city from Yakub Kolas Square to the permitted rally near the Opera and Ballet Theater.
We protest against the repressive actions of the authorities ahead of Freedom Day. We call on the authorities not to violate the rights and freedoms of Belarusian citizens on the eve of and during the celebration of the BPR independence.”