Opposition protesters remain defiant in Belarus despite widespread arrests and police brutality. On Sunday, December 6, 2020, thousands of protestors took over the Belarusian capital of Minsk and other major cities as weekly protests continued, demanding that Belarussian authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko leave office.
According to the Associated Press, more than 300 people have been arrested in Minsk alone, many of whom are university students.
On Friday, December 4, 2020, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, issued a statement calling attention to the worsening human rights situation in Belarus.
It is urgent that the Government of Belarus puts an end to ongoing human rights violations. In particular, we call on the Belarus Government:
To immediately release all those unlawfully or arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and participation;
To respect the right of peaceful assembly, and cease the violent dispersal of peaceful assemblies and judicial retaliation against organizers and participants;
To create an enabling environment for all individuals, human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers to participate in public affairs and carry out their activities safely and freely;
To ensure that prompt, thorough, independent, transparent and impartial investigations are conducted into all allegations of torture and other human rights violations, including the deaths of at least four persons in the context of the protests; to hold perpetrators to account; and to provide justice truth and reparations to victims and their families.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) condemns the brutal treatment of student protesters in Belarus and stands in solidarity with Belarusians in their struggle for freedom and a peaceful transition to democracy. The wide spread arrests, trials, and imprisonments of Belarus’s students are particularly appalling.
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