Belarusian rights activists demand that authorities release people detained at protests, stop fuelling hysteria
March 24, 2017 18:41
MINSK. March 24 (Interfax) – The Belarusian human rights community demands that the authorities release the people detained at the rallies against the so-called tax on freeloaders and on suspicion of organizing rallies, calling those detentions politically motivated.
“We demand that the authorities immediately stop fuelling hysteria and an atmosphere of fear in Belarusian society, release all people who were subjected to arbitrary detentions or administrative arrests for participation in peaceful assemblies and expressing their opinions,” some Belarusian human rights organizations said in a joint statement.
The statement also called for close observance of all procedural guarantees to people taken into custody ion connection with this criminal case and refrain from all forms of pressure on the participants in the criminal proceedings, including defense lawyers.
Additionally, the human rights activists demanded the exercise of the citizens’ right to peaceful assembly and expression of their opinions, refraining from the use of violence against them, and that journalists’ professional activities not be impeded.
The human rights activists generally stated “considerable deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.”
According to their information, detentions, administrative arrest and fines affected some 300 protest participants, and over 100 of them were subjected directly to administrative arrests.
The statement was signed by the unregistered human rights center Vyasna, the Legal Transformation Center, the Committee for the Protection of the Repressed Salidarnasts, the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, and the Belarusian Documentation Center.
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