PAST EVENT: 19 February: Protest in solidarity with Belarus prisoners of conscience
19 February: Protest in solidarity with Belarus prisoners of conscience
17 Feb 11

This Saturday, 19 February at 2pm, there will be a protest organised by the Belarus Committee outside the Belarusian Embassy, 6 Kensington Court, London (you can see it on a map here). The protest is to raise awareness of the prisoners of conscience detained by President Lukashenko since the rigged election in December.

Many of those detained have little access to justice and there are serious reports of ill-treatment. Of those detained many are close friends and associates of the Belarus Free Theatre. Please join us to send a clear signal to the Belarusian authorities that the world is watching.

The Belarus Committee is a group of NGOs including Index on Censorship, English PEN, PEN International, Amnesty, Article 19, human rights firm H20 Lawand individuals including Sir Tom Stoppard, with patrons Mikhail Gorbachev and Vaclav Havel, established in solidarity with all the victims of President Lukashenko’s regime, especially the prisoners currently detained by the secret police. The first trial of the prisoners begins on 17 February.

Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship. The Presidential elections last December were described by the OSCE as “seriously flawed”, with the count in half of the polling districts “bad or very bad”. During an post-election rally in Independence Square in Minsk the authorities arrested members of the country’s political opposition and civil society activists. Over 600 people were arrested that evening including Natalia Koliada from the Belarus Free Theatre and Index on Censorship award nominee Natalia Radzina. Currently, 33 prisoners are still kept in custody, and journalist Irina Khalip — the wife of presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov — and presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu are both under punitive house arrest. They face up to 15 years in prison for orchestrating “mass disorder”.

For more information, contact Michael Harris

[email protected]

+44 (0) 7974 838 468

Heather McGill

[email protected]

+44 (0) 77  960 5261