Viasna protests measures used against political prisoners
The Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Centre has issued a statement vehemently condemning the use of torture, intimidation, blackmail and other intolerable kinds of harassment and pressure against political prisoners.
Of particular concern is the recent report by Iryna Khalip, wife of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, in which she warns that her husband’s life is in danger and that he is being subjected to torture and ill-treatment We consider the two-month period during which Sannikov has been denied access to a lawyer as direct evidence of the statement made by the political prisoner’s wife.
Viasna respects applications made for a pardon by political prisoners, especially where they are written under threat of torture against them or their families. We welcome every measure aimed at their quickest release.
We consider the groundless and illegal change of prison security measures with respect to Nikolai Statkevich, Nikolai Avtukhovich and Yauhen Vaskovich as an additional means of pressure on the political prisoners.
Viasna Human Rights Centre demands the immediate release of all political prisoners and prosecution of those found responsible for the flagrant violation of their rights, the use of torture and the illegal change of prison security measures.
We call upon international organizations and the governments of democratic countries to demand that all political prisoners be promptly released and rehabilitated as a condition for resuming any contacts with the Belarusian officials