The IOC launched an official procedure against the NOC of Belarus, the British Foreign Office called for the release of all detained Belarusian journalists, new arrests and dismissals in Belarus
25 November 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
British Foreign Office calls for the immediate release of all journalists detained in Belarus
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke emotionally in his Twitter on repressions against journalists in Belarus: “I call for the immediate release of all journalists arbitrarily imprisoned in Belarus and for charges against them to be dropped. This is a cowardly attempt by Lukashenko’s regime to silence dissent and stop the reporting of human rights violations against the Belarusian people.”
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Wendy Morton also condemned the persecution of journalists. “These crackdowns will not stop the world seeing what is really going on in Belarus,” she wrote on Twitter and called for the immediate release of the journalists.
As Naviny.by reports with reference to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, as of 23 November, 14 Belarusian journalists are in detention centers for administrative or criminal cases. Bloggers detained during the election campaign also remain imprisoned.
Katsiaryna Barysevich, a correspondent for TUT.by, as well as Katsiaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava) and Darya Chultsova, a correspondent and an operator for Belsat TV channel, have been recognized as political prisoners.
A former investigator who helped law enforcers get civilian jobs was detained
Yauhen Yushkevich is the initiator of bychange.me project. He has been helping law enforcers dismissed because of their civic position to retrain and get new jobs.
Yauhen was detained in the evening on 24 November. Now he is in the Offender Detention Center on Akrestsina Street.
In 2017, Yauhen Yushkevich resigned from the post of senior legal investigator of the Economic Crimes Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee. In his twitter, Yauhen has been criticizing the actions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee. Today, after the arrest, his account is not available.
Taxi driver who was beaten by riot police is on trial
In Hrodna, a taxi driver who was beaten by riot policemen is on trial. Late in the evening on 11 August, unknown people attacked his car. He tried to drive away, but before long his car was stopped by the security forces. The driver and the passengers were pulled out of the car and beaten. Aliaksei was admitted to the emergency hospital with a traumatic brain injury, hematomas, fractures of the nose and jaw, and a hematoma of the eyes. Three days later he was transferred to the intensive care unit, underwent surgery on his nose and jaw. During the operation, he was handcuffed to a radiator. From 12 to 14 August Aliaksei was accompanied by security guards.
The two passengers were also hospitalized to the neurosurgical department of the emergency hospital with head injuries. The car was smashed, all the windows were broken, there were dents.
Aliaksei is charged under Art. 364 (Violence or threat of violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies). He faces up to six years in prison.
Criminal charges under the same article were also brought against one of the beaten passengers. He found this out only on 13 November, reports the Viasna Human Rights Center.
The hearing will continue on 2 December.
Pediatric oncologist quit due to stress and the situation in Belarusian medicine
Nadzezhda Piatrouskaya has resigned from the Belarusian Research Centre for Pediatric Oncology, Haematology and Immunology where she worked as head of the oncological and hematological department. She decided to quit after 21 years of working with seriously ill children for she can no longer do her job well due to anxiety and tremendous stress. They are triggered by the general psychological background, the situation in the country and the medical community, distortion of information on television, the dirt that is poured from state TV channels on innocent people, including her colleagues. “Working with children who have cancer, some of whom pass away, is morally distressing by itself,” says the doctor. A tense situation has developed lately at the Belarusian Research Center for Pediatric Oncology: doctors openly show sympathy for the protesters, support protests and solidarity campaigns. Nadzezhda was also detained at a doctors’ protest on 7 November, and was fined 25 base units (675 rubles). Employees are preparing an open appeal to the public and authorities.
The IOC Executive Board begins formal procedure against the NOC of Belarus
“In view of the growing number of worrying reports concerning athletes, officials and sports in Belarus, the IOC Executive Board has decided to initiate a formal procedure with a view to consider appropriate measures or sanctions against the NOC of the Republic of Belarus.
This follows the decision of the IOC EB on 7 October to strengthen its investigation into the NOC’s compliance with the Olympic Charter, and further discussions during the last EB meetings on 23 October and 11 November. On these occasions, the IOC had expressed its serious concerns with regard to the overall situation of the sporting community in Belarus,” the IOC’s official website says.
Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund is fostering active dialogue with the IOC on violations of the athletes’ rights in Belarus and violence against them.
For more information on the events of 25 November 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: