20 - 12 - 2010
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is urging strong international pressure to immediately cease the repression unleashed on presidential candidates, on their supporters and on human rights defenders in Belarus. Not only did the Belarus authorities on 19/20 December violently arrest most oppostion presidential candidates and used brutal force to break up a protest demonstration in central Minsk, they also raided the office of the Human Rights Centre ‘Viasna’ in central Minsk. Ten staff members were detained, including lawyers Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich. They were taken to the police department of the Pervomaisky district in Minsk. Special forces then carried out a search of the premises.