Date: 7 October 2020

Tsikhanouskaya meets Merkel, the staggering scale of repressions

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, October 6. The former presidential candidate, currently an informal opposition leader in political exile, said that a new presidential election in Belarus needs to be organized in the near future. The German ambassador left Belarus on Tuesday. Manfred Huterer was called for consultations in Berlin. The day before, the ambassadors of Poland and Lithuania, Artur Michalski and Andrius Pulokas, left. Meanwhile, a group of members of the strike committee in Belaruskali was sentenced to 10 or 15 days of imprisonment. On Tuesday, courts have been hearing cases of many people detained in the last few days. Most often the accusation is under the article about participation in an illegal assembly. Proceedings were initiated against 19 people for disseminating data about militia employees, informed on Tuesday, referring to the statement of the militia. Law enforcement authorities are establishing the identity of individuals who publish information about militia officers and their families on the Internet. Within two months, the Viasna Human Rights Centre collected information about more than 500 victims of torture that took place in custody. However, there is no information that the persons responsible for the violence were prosecuted at least a single time. Courts and detentions affected already around 12,000 people in the summer and fall. Those responsible for the violence remain unpunished and can even count on being rewarded by the authorities. Although at the end of August, under the aegis of the Prosecutor General’s Office, an inter-ministerial commission was established to examine the applications of citizens who reported that they had been beaten and humiliated by the militia following their arrest, there is no information about the activities of this commission. Likewise, the Prosecutor’s Office of Minsk refused to provide information about its activities in connection with the torture of detainees.

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TAGS: migration crisis, NATO, Belarus, Russia


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