More than 1,400 political prisoners are being held in Belarus – including candidates in the 2020 presidential election

According to human rights activists, three years after the presidential elections in Belarus , arbitrary detentions and massive violence by security forces are the order of the day. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) announced on Tuesday in Frankfurt that more than 1,400 people are currently being held in Belarus for political reasons. Since April 2022, the death penalty can also be imposed for “attempting to commit a terrorist act”.

What is Kolesnikov?

The ISHR criticized the actions of the ruler Aleksandr Lukashenko after the presidential election in August 2020, in which the European Union’s foreign policy representative, Josep Borrell , saw “massive fraud” on the part of the regime. “With the help of the dictatorial regimes of Russia and Iran, long-term dictator Lukashenko is wiping out critical and independent civil society in Belarus,” ISHR fears.

The ISHR emphasized that there had been no sign of life from the imprisoned opposition member Maria Kolesnikova for six months. The human rights organization also points to the opposition figures Sergei Tichanowski and Viktor Babariko, who have “disappeared” for weeks.

According to ISHR, since the “false presidential elections” in Belarus three years ago, the suppression of the democracy movement has reached unimaginable proportions. More than 10,000 people have been arrested, tortured or imprisoned in overcrowded prison cells, some without trial or formal charge.