UN Secretary-General Spokesman On Belarus: Torture Allegations Must Be Investigated

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is closely following developments in Belarus, the official statement by Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric reads.

He underlines the importance of enabling all Belarusians to exercise their civil and political rights. This includes expressing their views peacefully in accordance with the law.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: UN Press Centre

Authorities must show restraint in responding to demonstrations. Allegations of torture and other mistreatment of people under detention must be thoroughly investigated. The Secretary-General calls on Belarusians to address post-election grievances through dialogue to preserve peace in the country.

Recall that the presidential election in Belarus was held on 9 August. According to the Central Election Comission (CEC), President Alexander Lukashenko secured 80% of the vote, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received 10,1% of the votes.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Belarus immediately after early results of voting were announced, sparking allegations of vote rigging. Mass protests grew into clashes with law enforcement officers that lasted four days, during which over 6,7oo people were detained.

After that, numerous peaceful protests took place across Belarus: thousands of demonstrators clutching flowers, balloons and banenrs lined the streets of the cities and towns in chains of solidarity with victims of police brutality. Dozens of state-run enterprises later joined the protests.