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Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2022 Document

2023 2023-01-21T17:48:35+0300 2023-01-21T17:49:47+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”


  • the profound socio-political crisis, which was prompted by the usurpation of power and its concentration in the hands of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who refused to accept his de facto defeat in the presidential election of August 2020, together with the lack of effective democratic institutions in Belarus, determined the continuation and build-up of the repressive policy of the Belarusian authorities in 2022;
  • the absence of true legal mechanisms for constitutional change of power, protection and promotion of the rights to peaceful assembly, association, freedom of expression, freedom from torture and other types of cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment have led to their total devaluation in Belarus;
  • the actions of all branches of power are aimed at building a new, totalitarian system that demonstrates zero tolerance to any deviations from official policy and ideology, for which, with impunity, at the direction and with the approval of the highest officials, an atmosphere of general fear is instilled in society, any manifestations of dissent are eradicated, and concepts are distorted in the interests of the ruling circles;
  • the price of political and economic support from the authorities of the Russian Federation for the dictatorship that lost its legitimacy and was subjected to economic sanctions was the provision by the authorities of Belarus of its territory, airspace and infrastructure for Russia’s aggression against sovereign Ukraine, as well as its unconditional political and informational support for the offensive;
  • Viasna immediately and unconditionally condemned the act of aggression and the involvement of the official Minsk in it, emphasizing that one of the prerequisites for the start of the war was the suppression of the Belarusian civil society, which consistently and uncompromisingly refused to support the desire of the Russian and part of the Belarusian power elites to create geopolitical and military unions involving Belarus in the implementation of the imperial ambitions of the Russian authorities;
  • the war in Ukraine has had an ambiguous impact on the policy of states and international organizations towards Belarus: it changed the vector of general attention, but advanced the wider consequences and greater impact on world politics of Belarusian domestic political processes;
  • the construction of a totalitarian system required a change in the Constitution, which, even in the current version created to support the unconditional priority of the executive power headed by Lukashenka, has ceased to satisfy the dictator’s needs;
  • at the same time, the legislative framework was losing its legal features and continued to be filled with reactionary norms that ignored the democratic constitutional foundations and international obligations of Belarus;
  • the main tools for holding power and repressing opponents, critics of the regime and dissidents are still criminal and administrative prosecution, arbitrary arrests, dismissals from work and de facto deportation;
  • as of January 1, there were 1,446 political prisoners in Belarus, according to a national coalition of human rights organizations; the list of political prisoners is based on a set of universally recognized principles provided for by the thematic Guidelines; over the year, the list increased by 477 people, while more than 580 former political prisoners were released; a total of 889 people were called political prisoners during the year;
  • Viasna is aware of at least 1,242 persons convicted on politically motivated criminal charges in 2022; a total of at least 2,627 individuals were convicted for the events triggered by the protests of 2020; almost 3,800 people faced criminal prosecution during this period;
  • Viasna knows the names of 6,381 persons arrested and at least 3,272 convicted under administrative procedures for the exercise of their rights and freedoms, of which 2,274 were sentenced to short terms of administrative imprisonment and 938 were fined;
  • the authorities continue to actively use repressions against journalists in connection with their professional activities: according to the BAJ, 33 journalists and media workers are currently imprisoned; 43 journalists were arrested during the year;
  • legislation regulating the activities of civil society associations has significantly worsened their position in a number of key areas; according to Lawtrend, since 2021, about 1,180 non-governmental organizations have been closed down or are in the process of dissolution, which is evidence of the continuing trend of the demolition of civil society institutions;
  • the judicial system routinely ignores the standards of a fair trial; the legal profession, having lost the main features of an independent self-governing institution, itself became an instrument of repression against lawyers; in general, lawyers carry out their activities under constant pressure, threats and harassment, and the most active are subject to criminal and administrative prosecution, while many lose their right to work;
  • Belarus continues to apply the death penalty; during the year, there was no information about new death sentences; an earlier death sentence against Viktar Paulau, however, was carried out; two people are being held on death row awaiting execution; the government has further expanded legislative grounds of using the death penalty;
  • politically motivated repressions in 2022 continued to be widespread, testifying to a profound human rights crisis, which led to the international isolation of Belarus and wide sanctions from the EU countries, the U.S. and the UK;
  • Viasna continues its active work to protect and promote human rights; on September 30, the organization received The Albie Awards 2022, founded by the Clooney Foundation for Justice, in the nomination “Justice Democracy Defenders”; on December 8, in The Hague, Viasna was awarded the Human Rights Tulip award, founded by the Government of the Netherlands.
Human Rights Situation in Belarus in 2022


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