U.S. TV channel CNN has published an investigation of the repression of the Lukashenka’s regime against civilians in Belarus.
CNN journalists have been investigating the case for several months. The journalists talked to Belarusians who had illegally crossed the border into Ukraine to escape repression. In the reportage, torture victims talk about violence, sexual violence, beatings, and the brutality of security forces.
In addition, the editorial board received videos from former employees of the Interior Ministry, in which security forces commit acts of violence against peaceful protesters, including teenagers.
CNN suggests that the Lukashenka’s regime has softened its tactics somewhat in recent weeks because fear has gripped the opposition movement. Nevertheless, activists are concerned that the repression will intensify again on the eve of a nationwide street rally on March 25.
After CNN reported on the violence, a State Department spokesman said that the U.S. “strongly condemns the months-long post-election brutality carried out by the Lukashenka regime against peaceful protesters.”
The statement also said that more than 500 cases of brutal violence had been recorded, 290 political prisoners and “a number of individuals were henceforth reported missing.”
“These violent actions have destroyed the Belarusian authorities’ legitimacy among their own people and the international community,” they said, demanding the “immediate release of political prisoners and all those unjustly detained, and … for those responsible for severe abuses to be held to account.”
So far, the country’s investigative authorities have not initiated a single criminal case against the security forces for violence against civilians.