Number of political prisoners in Belarus reaches 360

Source: photo stock / аuthor Hédi Benyounes

Two more persons have been recognised political prisoners in Belarus, human rights centre Viasna reports. As of today, there are 360 people on the corresponding list made by the Belarusian human rights community.

One of them is Dzyanis Urad, a captain of the General Staff of Belarus, who took a picture of a classified letter and sent it to anti-Lukashenka Telegram channels. In the letter, Belarusian Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakou asked Defence Minister Viktar Khrenin to place some military forces at their disposal if ‘mass riots’ continued. Urad was detained in March and charged with high treason.

The second person declared a political prisoner on Thursday is activist Volha Mayorava, who is suspected of ‘terrorism’. According to the authorities, she administered the social networks of Mikalai Autukhovich, who was earlier accused of committing an act of terrorism.

Belarusian political prisoners color-coded

As Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and expression, everyone has the right to adhere to their opinions, the human rights defenders said, making a comment on their cases.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression: this right includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of state borders” human rights activists stressed.

Ten human rights watchdogs call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately release Urad, Mayorava and other political prisoners as well as to drop criminal charges against them.

KGB puts former political prisoners Alinevich, Autukhovich on ‘terrorist’ list