Nineteen more people recognized as political prisoners in Belarus

Human rights activists continue to analyze the criminal cases for compliance with the definition of “political prisoner.”

Valadarski Street prison. Minsk, Belarus.
Photo: Belsat.

Five Belarusian human rights institutions have adopted a joint statement recognizing 19 more people as political prisoners. The statement was published by “Viasna.”

The list of political prisoners was updated with the following names: Ivan Nikanau, Yauhen Kharyanau, Uladzislau Verasau, Ivan Dubrouski, Viktar Kukharchuk and Maksim Nestsyarovich, Volha Harbunova, Mark Vasilkou, Uladzimir Zholabau, Yauhen Marynts, Alyaksandr Rusetski, Alyaksei Rusetski, Pavel Hryshkevich, Yahor Kuzmin, Artur Yeshbayeu, and Vadzim Tsahelnik. Andrei Trusau (article 342 and part 1 of article 328 of the Criminal Code, Alyaksei Ivanisau and Artsyom Andrasyuk.

Human rights defenders still claim that citizens’ assemblies were spontaneous and self-organized and were caused by distrust of the election results, which were not recognized as democratic and fair by the international community. The assemblies of citizens were peaceful and did not pose a threat to either national or public security. Despite this, the demonstrators were attacked by special units of the Interior Ministry with disproportionate use of violence, non-lethals, and weapons.

Human rights defenders further demand the immediate release of all political prisoners (already 862), as well as citizens detained in connection with the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly in the post-election period, and an end to political repression.