Hundreds Tortured, Dozens Disappeared by Dictatorship

Belorussia's armed police facing the opposition rally in Minsk on August 30. (Photo: NN)



UN experts said that they knew about 450 cases of torture and ill-treatment of protesters detained in Belarus, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported.



“We are extremely alarmed by hundreds of allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by the police,” the UN officials, the Special Rapporteurs stressed. Most of the people missing in the republic have been found, but the whereabouts and state of health of at least six people are unknown to their relatives.

Earlier, the Coordination Council of the opposition of Belarus called on the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic Yuri Karaev either to resign or to confess.

“Mr. Karaev took responsibility for those who got it on August 13 on Belarusian television. Death of people, violence, unprecedented cruelty and torture of civilians - we all saw this,” said council representative Maria Kolesnikova.

The winner of the presidential elections Svetlana Tikhanovskaya expressed her concern about the prisoners and the opposition members whose fate has been unknown.

What I want to tell is that a lot of people in Belarus now are political prisoners," she said from her stronghold in Lithuania. "They just are in jail without any court, and they are in there only for their, I don't know, for their wish to talk about what's going on in Belarus, about their desire to live in a free country."

Tikhanovskaya explained that the whereabouts of around 70 people are still unknown – including her husband and 2020 presidential candidate Sergei Tikhanovsky.  At least four protesters have been found dead.

Latvia and Estonia declared Alexander Lukashenko persona non grata.

Since August 9, Belarus has been holding protests against Alexander Lukashenko, who was declared the winner of the presidential election by the CEC. The opposition does not recognize their results and considers Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Lukashenko's main rival, the winner. Some countries did not recognize the vote. The opposition Coordination Council was established in the republic. Lukashenka accused the council members of attempting to seize power; they began to summon them to the Investigative Committee.

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