Watchdog denounces full-scale purge forward of Belarus’ elections

The human rights watchdog Amnesty Worldwide mentioned that Belarusian authorities are finishing up a “full-scale purge of dissenting voices” forward of the August 9 presidential election.

The federal government is utilizing “repressive legal guidelines to stifle criticism forward of the elections, the place president Alexander Lukashenko is working for the sixth consecutive time period”, Aisha Jung, the watchdog’s senior campaigner on Belarus, mentioned on Friday.

Jung mentioned that no less than three opposition bloggers have been arrested the day earlier than, whereas two others are already below arrest. “Opposition candidates, supporters, and unbiased media have confronted arbitrary arrest, hefty fines, and incarceration”, she mentioned.

“Now these lively on social media are being focused. No one ought to be punished for utilizing the Web to specific opinions concerning the authorities and its insurance policies”, Jung warned.

Earlier, dozens of activists and politicians have been arrested throughout protests in opposition to Lukashenko’s searching for of one other time period. Final yr’s parliamentary election excluded the opposition, with all 110 parliament seats going to former authorities functionaries, diplomats and members of pro-government events.

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