On February 16, 2021 the massive searches, detentions and interrogations of human rights defenders and journalists took place accross Belarus. The searches started early in the morning and lasted for several hours, the latest ended by night. Several activists have been arrested. So-called ‘investigative actions’ were performed within investigation under article 342 of the Criminal code ‘organisation and preparation of actions that violate public order or active participation in them (the Investigative Committee stated that the searched took place to indetify the circumstances of financing protests in 2020). Earlier the human rights defenders have been prosecuted within this criminal case, our arrested colleagues are in prisons or under home arrest.
ADC Memorial expresses solidarity with the Belarussian colleagues, partners and friends and assess the actions of state bodies as persecution of independent civil society. We call upon the intergovernmental organisations and governments of the democratic states to urge Belarusian authorities to respect human rights, to immediately stop repressions of human rights defenders and journalists, who perform their professional duties.