Over a year on, Belarus still hostile for Human Rights Defenders

Today marks the one year anniversary of the detention of Marfa Rabkova, Woman Human Rights Defender with Viasna Human Rights Centre, and just over a year since the crack down on Human Rights Defenders began in Belarus.

Marfa monitored peaceful assemblies and investigated reported cases of ill-treatment and torture in the wake of protests that broke out following the Presidential election.

She’s been charged with
– “training people for taking part in mass disorders”
– “involvement in a criminal organisation”
– “intentional actions aimed at inciting racial, national, religious or other social hatred or discord”.

I’ve written multiple times to the Belarussian authorities on her case, and the cases of scores of other Human Rights Defenders detained, criminalised or otherwise harassed. I’ve received responses to some, but the situation for Human Rights Defenders remains incredibly hostile.

Communication – March 2021 Communication – October 2021
Press Release – March 2021 Response to October Communication

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