Human rights defenders sum up human rights situation in Belarus in April

Human rights activists of the HRC Viasna have assessed the situation with human rights in Belarus in April. The authorities actively used criminal prosecution of citizens for political reasons, the report says.

House of Justice in Brest. Photo by: Belsat

According to HRC Viasna, in April, courts passed verdicts against at least 98 people in politically motivated criminal cases. Monitoring of trials conducted by volunteers and lawyers of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” has revealed numerous violations of the fair trial procedure and of the rights and guarantees of the accused.

In total, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office, more than three thousand criminal cases have been opened since August 2020 for violations of the procedure for holding mass events and protests.

There are currently 360 people recognized as political prisoners behind bars. Their number continues to increase.

Also, more participants of peaceful protests and citizens are detained for using white-red-white symbols, including in private housing and private territories. The HRC Viasna has information about 304 people detained in April, including 253 in Minsk. More than 210 court decisions were issued: in 131 cases, administrative arrests were made, in 68 cases, fines were imposed.

In April, the pressure on human rights defenders continued. There were searches and detentions of representatives of several human rights organizations and active investigative actions against members of the Human Rights Center “Viasna.”

Human rights defenders are also concerned about numerous facts of ill-treatment: the inhuman detention conditions for those arrested for political reasons, intentionally created by the administration of the detention center and the TDF, are regarded by experts of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” as torture.

Human rights activists note that the human rights situation in the country further deteriorated in April.