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Viasna and other human rights defenders in Belarus under attack Updated

2021 2021-07-14T10:55:58+0300 2021-07-14T18:57:05+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On July 14 the law enforcement officers came with searches to the human rights activists of "Viasna".

At 7 a.m. the law enforcers came to search the lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich. They also searched the house of "Viasna" Board member Valiantsin Stefanovich. According to Alina, Valentin's wife, the search ended at 10:30. They seized all the equipment. Valiantsin Stefanovich was taken away.

Journalist and human rights activist Siarhei Sys was detained in Minsk. His house was also searched. Details are still unknown. Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski can't be reached.

As of 7 pm, it is known that Valiantsin Stefanovich, Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich and his wife Nina Labkovich, Yauheniya Babajeva are detained for 72 hours and are being interrogated by the Investigation Committee.

Coordinator of the Human righst degenders against death penalty campaign Andrei Paluda also reported a search. He was taken to the Rights Tertitory space where another search is planned.

Human rights activist of Viasna Alena Laptsionak informed about a search in her house and detention. She is persecuted under Article 342 (group actions that grossly disrupt public order) and Article 243 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code. Head of the Mazyr chapter of Viasna Uladzimir Tseliapun reported that someone was at his door in the morning but he didn't open.

The apartment of the director of the Lawtrend Legal Transformation Center Volha Smalianka was searched. She reported on Facebook that the search will also take place in the office of the human rights organization.

In Orsha, law enforcement officers arrested Ihar Kazmerchak, editor of the local portal and human rights activist. Kazmerchak had already been detained on July 8; his home was searched then. Three days later he was released from detention.

Police also came to the house of Hrodna human rights defender Viktar Sazonau. At 9:50 a.m. they stopped the search and took his computers and cell phones. The law enforcers took the human rights defender with them: his status and whereabouts are unknown now.

The police aslo came to offices of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Imena journal (charity media), Gender Perspectives, Belarusian Helsinki Committee, BEROC Center for Economic Research, Belarusian Popular Front party, Lawtrend Legal Transformation Center, Union of Belarusians of the World "Fatherland", Office for European Expertise and Communication, Third Sector Center in Hrodna, and members of Human Constanta, Polack independent trade union, Belarusian School Association, Supolnasc Center and others.

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