GENEVA (1 July 2020) – UN experts today demanded that Belarus refrains from violence against peaceful protesters ahead of 9 August presidential elections. They urged the Government to abandon its policy of arbitrary arrests, violence and intimidation against civil society activists.
The independent experts said that since 18 June alone, at least 200 political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and other members of civil society have been arrested during peaceful demonstrations across the country. The protests aimed at showing solidarity with nearly 500 other activists detained since May while exercising their right to give and gather signatures for nominating presidential candidates.
“We strongly condemn the Government’s continuous policy of mass arrests of members of the civil society who are peacefully exercising their fundamental rights,” the experts said. “We firmly condemn policies and actions that restrict Belarusians’ right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression.”