Stories of Violence in Belarus
11 November 2020, 14:11 | Belarus in focus
Belarus in Focus, Press Club Belarus, Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Legal Initiative, Viasna human rights center, and the independent Belarusian media present the Seeking Justice. Stories of Violence in Belarus book. It contains dozens of publications of the Belarusian media testifying the tortures and other forms of cruel treatment of people who peacefully protested against the results of the presidential elections.
For Belarus, August 2020 will go down in history as a heroic and tragic month. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly as one of the fundamental human rights is enshrined by The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. We note with regret that this right has been violated by the very same institutions that are supposed to protect it. Thousands of people in different cities of the country were detained, hundreds were abused in custody, dozens were hospitalized, and the fate of some is still unknown. The Seeking Justice. Stories of Violence in Belarus book contains stories of people from all over the country which were published in the Belarusian media and which require a legal assessment and investigation. The book includes publications of the following independent media: TUT.BY, Naviny.by, Radio Free Europe, Nasha Niva, Onliner, Euroradio, regional media Hrodna.life, Mogilev.Online, Pershy regiyon, Intex-press, Brestskaya Gazeta, Media-Polesie, Rehianalnaya gazeta, Silnye novosti.
We began to collect the information for this book in those days when the whole of Belarus was choked with news about what was going on for three days in numerous local police departments, pre-trial detention centers and prisons. Back then it seemed that even the authorities were impressed by the scale of violence, and the Minister of the Internal Affairs tried to make an awkward apology. There were promises to sort things out and conduct investigations.
Almost a month later, it is obvious that the authorities are not going to translate promises into actions. At least a thousand applications were filed to the Investigative Committee on the facts of torture on August 9th–13th, but not a single criminal case has been opened yet. Instead, from the very top, we hear the words about “showing off bruises” and about “girls’ asses [that] were painted with blue paint”. And in general, it is worth “turning this page over”.
But first, read these pages. Pages of Seeking Justice. Stories of Violence in Belarus.
Every case must be investigated, every victim must be protected!
You can support the people protesting in Belarus by donating to one of the foundations and initiatives:
Belarus Solidarity Foundation (BY_sol). Support those who were repressed, prosecuted, or lost their jobs because of participating in strikes or peaceful protests in Belarus. Support public servants and law enforcement agencies’ employees who quit their jobs to protest the violence against the demonstrators and the forgery of the 2020 Presidential elections in Belarus.
Media Solidarity Belarus (MediaSOL). Campaign to support journalists and free media in Belarus, who became an obvious target of the regime holding on to power by force. Provides urgent assistance to reporters and newsrooms who found themselves in distress due to political repressions. Helps journalists to get protective equipment and new professional equipment for doing their job that replace that which had been confiscated or destroyed by the armed group holding onto power in Belarus.
Support for Belarus (BY_help). Fundraises money to provide help to victims of repressions during the 2020 presidential election campaign: compensation of fines, medical expenses, legal support.