Front Line Defenders urges Belarus to release Marfa Rabkova
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned by the detention of Marfa (Maria) Rabkova as well as the harassment of her husband Vadzim Zharomski.
"Her arrest follows a number of acts of reprisal against and judicial harassment of human rights defenders from the law enforcement representatives in Belarus since the results of the 2020 Presidential elections were announced on 9 August," the organization said in a statement.
Front Line Defenders expresses "concern that these actions may have a chilling effect on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Belarus, and may be unconducive to the creation of a safe and enabling environment in which defenders can carry out their work."
It urges the authorities in Belarus to:
1. Take all necessary measures to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Marfa Rabkova and guarantee her physical and psychological security and integrity, as well as that of her husband and relatives;
2. Immediately drop all charges against Rabkova as it is believed that they are solely motivated by her legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights;
3. Return the items and money confiscated during the police inspection, as they are manifestly not linked to any criminal activity;
4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Belarus are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.