2009 11/09

On 9 September 2009 a peaceful demonstration was particularly violently dispersed in Minsk. There were a demonstration of citizens who came to the Kastrychnitskaya square of the capital to express their views on the participation of Russian military forces in joint Belarusian-Russian military exercises.(hereinafter – the spelling of origin)

Policemen detained more than 20 people, 17 of which were subsequently brought to administrative responsibility for participation in the unauthorized mass event.

This arrest followed by use of physical force and special means against participants of peaceful demonstration. Moreover, the Human Rights Center “Viasna” had information that representatives of Ministry of Internal Affairs used torture in respect of detained citizens. They were treated cruelly and inhuman with the use of physical violence while were detained in special vehicle and in the building of police department of the Central district of Minsk.

In this regard the Human Rights Center “Viasna” expresses strong protest and considers the actions of the Belarusian authorities as another fact of violation of human rights.

Freedom of peaceful assembly and expression is one of the fundamental principles of a democratic society and its systematic violation indicates an unwillingness of the Belarusian authorities to conduct real democratic reforms in the country.

The facts of use of torture in respect of detained citizens are of particular concern. It is worth to mention that the prosecution do not provide an adequate legal assessment of those acts, as well as do not bring the guilty to statutory responsibility that in its turn leads to a feeling of impunity among some members of the police and as a consequence, leads to a relapse of such unpleasant facts.

Human Rights Center “Viasna” urges the Belarusian authorities to demonstrate the orientation for democratization in the country, in practice, to ensure the fulfillment of international obligations of Belarus in the field of human rights.

Human Rights Center “Viasna” urges the prosecutor offices to check the facts of abuse of authority by police and bring the guilty to statutory responsibility.

Council of Human Rights Center “Viasna”

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