Mass persecution of human rights defenders in Belarus does not stop

On 14 July 2021, another wave of searches and detentions of journalists, activists, and human rights defenders took place all over Belarus. More than a dozen organizations have been affected by repressions. Among them are:

  • BEROC is a leading independent academic research center in the field of economic research in Belarus. It has been working since 2008.
  • BPF Belarusian Popular Front is one of the oldest political parties in Belarus, created by Zianon Pazniak; it has been functioning since 1988. Its 64-year-old leader Ryhor Kastusiou was arrested on 12 April 2021, his health deteriorated significantly in prison, and he might have cancer.
  • Human Constanta is a Belarusian human rights organization aimed at the protection of human rights and promotion of anti-discrimination. It has been working since 2016.
  • Belarusian Helsinki Committee is a public human rights organization engaged in the protection of human rights. It was established by the Belarusian PEN Center. It has been working since 1995.
  • The Belarusian Association of Journalists is a non-governmental public organization, an authoritative source of information on the work of mass media in Belarus. It has been working since 1995.
  • IMENA (NAMES) is a non-profit charity media platform that helps develop social projects important for the society and country. It has been working since 2016.

Many employees of the Viasna Human Rights Center were detained across the nation. Ales Bialiatski, the head of the center, was detained in connection with a criminal case. The Viasna Human Rights Center is a non-governmental human rights organization that monitors and collects information on violations of human rights and freedoms in Belarus. It has been working since 1996.

The European Union warned Belarusian authorities about the consequences of today’s attack on human rights and public organizations. The international human rights organization Amnesty International called on the international community to respond to the wave of searches in Belarus.

US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher expressed the opinion that the Lukashenko regime’s campaign to criminalize independent voices, human rights defenders, and civil society is the reason for the international isolation of Belarus.

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