At least 1,140 people arbitrarily detained in Belarus during election campaign

According to the estimates of the Human Rights Center Viasna, at least 420 people were detained at peaceful actions against non-registration of presidential candidates Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsapkala, held on July 14 and 15 in Belarus.

In Minsk alone, 329 people were detained on July 14-15. On July 14, 303 people were detained during the spontaneous protests, while 15 people were detained for standing in line to file complaints to the CEC, or just passing by riot police.

In addition to the capital, arrests took place in ten other cities across the country. A total of 420 people were detained all over Belarus.

More than 170 trials of some of the detained at the rallies were held from 15 to 20 July. The detainees were tried under articles 23.34 of the Administrative Code (participation in an unauthorized mass event) and 23.4 of the Administrative Code (disobeying police officers). At least 51 people were arrested for 581 days, more than 70 people were fined for over 65,000 rubles.

In total, since the beginning of the current election campaign 190 people have been arrested for a total of 2,607 days under administrative code articles used for political persecution. As many as 333 people have been fined for more than 265,275 rubles (more than $110,000).

Human rights defenders are aware of at least 1,140 cases of arbitrary detentions that took place between 6 May and 20 July.