Violent action against peaceful protesters, journalists and human rights defenders in Belarus has been condemned by the Parliamentary Assembly.
“I am concerned about the rough dispersal of peaceful demonstrations in Minsk and other cities on July 3rd, Independence Day, with hundreds of protesters being brutally beaten and detained merely for clapping hands,” said the assembly’s Belarus rapporteur Andres Herkel. “I am also alarmed about the blocking of access to popular social networking sites in Belarus.”
Herkel called on the Belarusian authorities to free those arrested in connection with the 3 of July demonstrations and to put an immediate end to the crackdown on the political opposition and civil society. He also urged the countries authorities to release detainees awaiting trial in the aftermath of the events of 19 December and for all politically motivated trials to be stopped.