Viasna informed UN Special Rapporteurs on prosecution for anti-war statements in Belarus
Viasna Human Rights Center informed four UN Special Rapporteurs on the administrative and criminal prosecution for anti-war statements.
The four UN officials include the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus Anaïs Marin, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women Reem Alsalem.
Viasna knows about over a thousand people detained for participating in peaceful protests against the war and about 32 criminal cases brought for anti-war manifestations since February 24, 2022. These data may be an underestimate since in many cases judges hold closed-door sessions via videoconference without announcing the date and place of the trial.
Human rights activists bring to the attention of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women that there are many women among those detained for anti-war activities. There are at least 278 known cases. Detainees reported police abuse and unbearable detention conditions in isolation facilities when three or four times more women were placed in the cell than the number of beds. Women slept on the floor, did not receive food, drinking water, or hygiene products, and were not taken to showers or walks.
It is also known about numerous criminal cases brought based on anti-war and anti-Russian statements on social networks, dissemination of information about the movement of Russian troops on the territory of Belarus, and attempts to prevent the movement of military equipment on the railroad tracks. As examples, human rights activists cited the cases against political prisoners Danuta Peradnia, sentenced to 6.5 years of imprisonment for reposting a text that sharply criticized the actions of Vladimir Putin and Aliaksandr Lukashenka to unleash war in Ukraine; journalist Yuryi Hantsarevich, sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment for a photo of Russian military equipment; student Aliaksandr Zahdai, sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment for leaking information about military planes; ‘rail guerrillas Dzianis Dzikun , Aleh Malchanau, Dzmitryi Ravich , Yauhen Minkevich, Dzmitryi Klimau, Uladzimir Auramtsau, and others.