Searches of journalists and human rights activists are underway throughout Belarus

Belarus and the Human Rights Council: Towards accountability for human rights violations (EN)

In the Investigative Committee, the purpose of the searches was called the establishment of the circumstances of the financing of protest activities.

In Belarus on the morning of Tuesday, February 16, investigators came to the apartments and offices of human rights defenders, journalists and representatives of independent trade unions throughout the country, the Belarusian Service of Radio Liberty reports..

It is reported, in particular, about investigative actions in the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and its employees, human rights defenders from the deprived of registration center Viasna, members of the REP trade union and volunteers in Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Gomel, Mozyr, Brest, Rechitsa. In total, at least 25 searches.

In the Investigative Committee, the purpose of the searches was called the establishment of the circumstances of the financing of protest activities.

The people who have been searched report that they have no status. So far, only one detainee is known – human rights activist Dmitry Solovyov, the portal Tut.By notes. The chairman of the journalistic association, Andrei Bastunets, said that he personally remains at large, but the security forces warned against disclosing the details of the search. A computer system unit and a folder with applications for new members of the organization were removed from the BAJ office.

This is a real state crisis, because in order to maintain power, the regime suppresses even those who defend human rights. While this is happening, all Belarusians are in danger, – said Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a former candidate for the presidency of Belarus from the opposition, commenting on the searches. According to her, by such actions, Alexander Lukashenko himself collects materials for an international tribunal against himself and his loved ones. Tikhanovskaya also said that her headquarters sent information to the European Union and the UN Human Rights Council demanding to take action..

Searches of journalists and human rights activists are underway throughout Belarus

Intimidation through searches, arrests, criminal prosecution of journalists and human rights defenders, including the partners of the Council of Europe and the UN in Belarus, is unacceptable. Freedom of speech, expression and assembly must be respected in accordance with international standards, – said Dunja Mijatovic, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, in a comment on social networks..

Since the day of the presidential elections on August 9 last year, mass protests have continued in Belarus against the victory announced by the CEC in the voting of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He ran for a sixth consecutive term. The protesters consider the election results to be falsified and call them the real winner Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who, under pressure from the authorities, left Belarus, like some other activists. A number of opposition leaders were arrested.

Lukashenko rejects allegations of fraud, highlighting Western puppeteers behind protests.

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