The number of political prisoners in Belarus has reached 102: another nine persons have been added to the list.
On October 21, Belarusian human rights watchdogs issued a joint statement on the back of the charges under Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (mass riots) brought against Syarhei Bryl, Andrey Papou, Pavel Nyadbayla, Syarhei Lyazhenka, Dzmitry Ivashkou, Yury Byalko, Dzmitry Lastouski,Yaraslau Zbarouski, as well as under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (group actions grossly violating public order) against Dzyanis Boltuts.
They assessed the persecution of the citizens mentioned above as politically motivated, as it is solely connected with the exercise of their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, and consider them to be political prisoners.
The statement was signed by ten organisations – Human Rights Centre Viasna, FORB Initiative, Human Constanta, Belarusian Documentation Centre, Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Legal Initiative, Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, Centre for Legal Transformation ‘Lawtrend’, PEN Belarus, Belarusian Association of Journalists, Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.