Since the 14th of July, at least 9 human rights defenders in Belarus have been detained, and dozens of searches have been conducted in the offices of a wide range of civil society organizations and private apartments of individual human rights defenders. This major crackdown on civil society in Belarus is yet another attempt of the Lukaschenko regime to silence dissent, curb fundamental human rights and stop legitimate documentation of the regime’s human rights violations. This documentation is necessary for bringing perpetrators to justice, and by now, more than 2000 cases of serious human rights violations have been documented.
The detained human rights defenders may be held for 72 hours, and within this deadline they must either be released or charged of a crime. Many of these detainees have now been charged.
The IAPB condemns this crackdown on civil society and calls for the immediate release of all political detainees and prisoners, who are held in blatant violation of international human rights law. Irrespective of the regime’s actions, the IAPB will continue its documentation of serious violations of international human rights law, with the aim of contributing to ensuring accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims in Belarus.
The International Accountability Platform for Belarus is an NGO Consortium led by DIGNITY, Viasna, Legal Initiative on behalf of International Committee for the Investigation of Torture, and Redress, and comprising 14 Belarusian and international human rights organisations. IAPB will collect, consolidate, verify, and preserve information, documentation, and evidence of serious human rights violations in Belarus since August 2020. The IAPB is supported by 21 states.