On Tuesday, a group of independent human rights experts of the United Nations Office on Tuesday called on the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all persons detained on "trumped-up charges" because they tried to exercise their fundamental rights to peaceful assembly, association, and expression.
According to Ukrinform, this was reported by the UN press service.
"The practice of incommunicado detention of members of the political opposition and prominent figures sentenced to long prison terms for dissent intensified in 2023," said 18 special experts of the Human Rights Council-appointed Working Group on Human Rights.
In a statement released by the UN Human Rights Office on Tuesday, they said that since 2020, when mass protests began after the presidential election, 1511 people have been detained on politically motivated charges.
On average, the Belarusian authorities carry out 17 arbitrary arrests every day.
At the same time, civil society organizations report harsh conditions of detention for political prisoners.
"This arbitrary practice is systemic," the experts noted.-
It is noted that the harsh conditions of detention have negatively affected the physical and mental health of prisoners, including video blogger Serhiy Tykhanovsky, activist and campaign strategist Maria Kolesnikova, banker and opposition leader Viktor Babaryk, and well-known opposition activist and lawyer Maksym Znak.
The prisoners have been denied access to timely and proper medical examination and treatment, adequate legal defense, and the ability to contact their families.
"The incommunicado detention - with the risk of enforced disappearance - is indicative of a strategy to punish political opponents and conceal evidence of ill-treatment and torture by law enforcement agencies and prison authorities," the experts believe.-
According to them, "the unprecedented level of repression must stop."
"The international community must demand that Belarus comply with its international human rights obligations to ensure truth, justice, and reparations for the victims."-
Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 31/05/2023