The Political situation in Belarus ahead of the August, 9 presidential elections is heating up very rapidly. We are witnessing the biggest wave in the decade of people’s mobilization for freedom, independence and the rule of law, which is not subsiding even in the face of severe repression by the ruling regime of Alaksandar Lukasenka.
Over the past couple of months, the regime has jailed dozens of Belarusians under criminal charges, 25 of whom (as of July, 21) are currently recognized by human rights organizations as political prisoners, including popular presidential wannabe candidates Siargiej Cichanouski and Viktar Babaryka, independent youtube bloggers Zmicier Kazlou, Alaksandar Kabanau, Siarhiej Piatruchin, administrator of popular Telegram channel Ihar Losik.
Politician and writer Paval Seviarynec has been arrested for more than a month and, according to numerous testimonies, tortured.
The two most popular contenders Viktar Babaryka and Valery Capkala were denied registration as presidential candidates.
Hundreds of Belarusians, mostly young people, were detained and beaten for participating in peaceful demonstrations for free elections, including IDU-member parties activists from the BPF Party and UCP.
Dozens of journalists (43 as of July, 21) were detained while performing their professional duties since start of electoral campaign, and Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty journalist Anton Trafimovic was beaten and injured while being detained by police.
All these actions by the Belarusian regime, in close cooperation with the newly formed electoral commission, have made this election process unfree and unfair right from the start.
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