The number of people who have faced administrative detention or arrest in Belarus for the year to date is over-the-top, Ales Byalyatski, Head of human rights centre Viasna and a former political prisoner, said in an interview with Current Time.
“In fact, nothing of that nature has ever happened in the history of Belarus. About 1,700 people were detained in the run-up to the election day; since August 9 – almost 12,000 [have come into the police’s hands]. Now we have lots and lots of detainees, but people do not give up, people continue to resist, and this number will rise,” the human rights defender said.
According to him, even in the ‘turbulent’ years of 2006 and 2010, when the presidential elections were held in Belarus. no more than 3,000 persons were subjected to persecution.
In addition, there are currently about 300 persons in Belarus who are jailed or under restrictions for political reasons, Byalyatski noted.