Belarus: Authorities Detain Hundreds on ‘Freedom Day’
In response to the detention of human rights observers and peaceful marchers celebrating Freedom Day in Belarus, Freedom House issued the following statement:
"Authorities in Minsk have indiscriminately detained hundreds of marchers as well as observers from the office of the Human Rights Center Viasna, members of the Belarus Free Theater, and one of the organizers of the march commemorating the anniversary of the Belarusian Republic, Uladzimir Niakliaeu, a 2010 presidential candidate and former political prisoner,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Eurasia programs. “The government should respect the right of all of its citizens to freely assemble, and should release without charges, searches, or any further harassment all of those detained. It should live up to its promises to the international community to begin respecting fundamental freedoms.”
Belarus is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 6.64, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.