Release political prisoner Ihar Liashchenia!
Joint statement of Belarusian human rights organizations
August 16, 2021
We, representatives of the human rights community of Belarus, note with growing anxiety the continuation of unprecedented repressions against members of the national civil society.
On August 11, former Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia Ihar Liashchenia was arrested and placed in a temporary detention center. After the undemocratic presidential election of August 2020, he condemned violence against the Belarusian people and protesters, and later took part in a series of political initiatives.
We are convinced that the true motive for his imprisonment is his non-violent activities to promote democratic values, as well as the lawful exercise of freedoms of opinion and expression.
Based on this, we consider his persecution and imprisonment to be politically motivated, as they are related to his non-violent activities aimed at protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Ihar Liashchenia is therefore a political prisoner in accordance with paragraph 3.1 of the Guidelines on the Definition of Political Prisoners.
We call on the Belarusian authorities to release Ihar Liashchenia immediately and to stop his criminal prosecution. We also call to stop repression and to release all political prisoners.
Human Rights Center "Viasna"
Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House
Belarusian Association of Journalists
Belarusian Helsinki Committee
Belarusian Documentation Center
Identity and Law