Nearly 200 Belarusians fined or arrested for month – human rights watchdog

Human rights center Viasna (Spring) has made a report on persecuting civil activists and politicians over the past month.

From 6 May to 10 June, a total of 1,093 days of administrative arrest has been slapped on 90 Belarusians, according to estimations by human rights centre Viasna. 102 persons got fines to the tune of 86,000 Belarusian rubles. The human rights defenders stress that the authorities resort to the articles of the Code of Administrative Offences for political persecution of dissidents.

“Citizens continue to be charged and tried for expressing their opinion or even just for attending peaceful rallies and pickets to collect signatures,” Viasna reports.

Another 20 persons may face trials or be summoned to the police.

‘Anyone but him’: Belarusians vent anger on Lukashenka (ENG video)

Over the last two weeks, thousands of people throughout the country have been lining up to put their signatures for ‘any on the list but for the incumbent president’. Especially large queues formed after popular vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski, a trustee and husband of presidential hopeful Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, had been detained in Hrodna on May, 29.

In turn, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has repeatedly stated there would not be ‘maidans or coups’ in the country. At Tuesday’s meeting with top Belarusian siloviki, stressed that the process of collecting signatures should not turn into ‘unauthorised rallies and mass events’. Earlier, He also ordered Minsk Mayor Anatol Sivak and law enforcement agencies to ‘ensure total order in the hero city of Minsk’. In turn, Sivak called the collection of signatures in Minsk ‘provocation’. In his opinion, staging rallies, holding discussions, expressing opinions should not happen when Belarusians sign for this or that candidate. Notably, a presidential hopeful does not have to get permission from the authorities for holding such a picket.

Belarusian human rights watchdogs declare detainees in Tsikhanouski’s case political prisoners