EU condemns crackdown on September 16 rally and violence against opposition in Belarus

2009 2009-09-18T16:48:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Sweden which is the country presiding in the European Union has made a statement slamming crackdown on the peaceful rally of solidarity in Minsk dedicated to the 10th anniversary of opposition leaders’ abduction.

"The Presidency urges the Belarusian authorities to refrain from the use of force in dealing with peaceful demonstrations and to ensure that representatives of independent media are able to perform their tasks without interference," Sweden, holder of the rotating presidency, said in a statement on Thursday, as quoted by the website of “European Belarus” movement.

European Union president Sweden called on Belarusian authorities to take steps to improve democracy and human rights in the country.

As we have informed, on September 16, 35 opposition activists were detained on October Square in Minsk. They gathered to hold a rally dedicated to the 10th anniversary of disappearance of Vice Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus of the 13th convocation Viktar Hanchar and a public leader and businessman Anatol Krasouski. Participants People gathered at the square with portraits of abducted politicians and candles. Almost immediately riot policemen blocked the demonstrators, shielding them from the traffic area of the street. They were placed into police buses with the use of force, and taken to the police department of Tsentralny district.

Police also prevented journalists from photographing and videoing the events.

Human rights activists note that “demonstrators were subjected to humiliation and beatings in the police department (they were forced to stand motionless for a few hours, with their hands up and face to the wall, they were made to stretch out), riot policemen threatened girls with rape; threats and foul speech was heard from policemen all the time.