Human Rights Watch: Trading Political Prisoners — disgrace
14:55, — Politics
Belarusian authorities should immediately end all harassment and intimidation of the political prisoners Ales Bialiatski and Zmitser Dashkevich.
Belarus should order an immediate investigation of all instances of mistreatment of detainees held on politically motivated charges, which activists say has increased recently, Human Rights Watch said.
“Mistreatment of detainees is prohibited under any circumstances,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These latest instances of harassment further demonstrate that the Belarusian authorities intend to continue retaliating against their critics even after they are thrown in jail.”
The European Union has in the past called on the authorities of Belarus to release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally. In April, August, and September, in an apparent response to growing international criticism, the government pardoned a number of prisoners sentenced in connection with the December 2010 protests. Released prisoners later alleged that they were pressured to sign pardon requests acknowledging their guilt as conditions for their release.
“It is a complete disgrace that the authorities appear to be singling out detainees held on politically motivated charges and using them as bargaining chips in a political game.” Gorbunova said. “The harassment of Bialiatski, Dashkevich, and other detainees should stop immediately and all instances of mistreatment should be thoroughly investigated.”