Belarusian human rights defenders met with the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs
Belarusian human rights defenders met with the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
They informed the Finnish politician and other members of the delegation about the current human rights situation in Belarus, problems in society, and society's attitude to the war in Ukraine. Human rights defenders noted that the level of repression and torture used by the authorities against civilians remains unabated, the political prisoner count is constantly increasing, and seven members of Viasna, including the chairman Ales Bialiatski, are still behind bars. Particular attention was paid to the harsh sentence handed down to Viasna volunteer network coordinator Marfa Rabkova and volunteer Andrei Chapiuk.
Pavel Sapelka, a lawyer with Viasna, said:
“This meeting has been an important indication that Belarus—the situation in the country, the situation of NGOs, the level of the human rights crisis—remains on the table in democratic countries, despite the objective situation following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the resulting crisis.
It is very important to us that Viasna be recognized at a high level as a reliable and objective source of verified information about the human rights situation in Belarus. We also see meetings of this kind as an opportunity to reiterate the need to support victims of politically motivated persecution.”