Amnesty International calls to release prisoner of conscience Maryia Kalesnikava
Amnesty Internaitonal has launched an urgent action calling on its members worldwide to write to the Belarussian authorities to demand an immediate release of arrested opposition leader Maryia Kalesnikava.
"Belarusian authorities abducted opposition leader Maryia Kalesnikava on 7 September. After she resisted expulsion from Belarus she was detained and, on 16 September, charged with “undermining national security”. The authorities are rushing her prosecution to make it a precedent and serve as a warning to all peaceful protesters, for whom she has become a symbol of resistance, dignity and courage. Maryia Kalesnikava is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally," says the appeal.
Amnesty International stresses that Kalesnikava has committed no internationally recognised crime and is being prosecuted solely for exercising her human rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
"Her prosecution has no basis under national law and violates Belarus’s international obligations. Criticising the authorities, taking part in peaceful protest or organising peaceful demonstrations is every person’s human right and not a crime against the state," says a sample letter publiched on September 23.