Amnesty International: Belarusian Authorities Must Immediately End Violence Against Protesters

The international human rights organization Amnesty International demanded the Belarusian authorities to immediately end police violence against peaceful protesters, in places of detention, as well as against the workers on strike.

“We see with shock and dismay how this regime, which has unleashed weeks of unspeakable violence against protesters in streets and prisons, today sent masked riot police to beat and arrest striking workers at their workplaces. A frank disregard is being shown for the most basic of human rights, and the right to strike is now one more that is being mercilessly crushed with police boots and batons,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Acting Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

An Amnesty International spokesperson recalled the events of 25 October, when security forces used stun grenades and rubber bullets against demonstrators.

“Only last night, stun grenades and rubber bullets were fired directly into a peaceful crowd at short range. Protesters running away were chased, shot at and beaten. There is disturbing footage of riot police storming into a private apartment and beating those inside it. Law enforcement officers have completely abandoned their oath to protect fellow citizens and have been given free rein to use indiscriminate violence and mass arbitrary arrests against them.”

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Krivosheev notes that the Belarusian government must “immediately end police violence against peaceful protesters. Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested and facing administrative or criminal proceedings merely for trying to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and their rights to form independent associations and to strike”.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, over 500 people were detained in Belarus on Sunday, 25 October.