This past week: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya meets President Biden, Belarusian Olympic sprinter is being forcibly removed from the Olympics and sent home & much more Top Stories Aug 1: Belarusian Olympic sprinter says she is being pressured to leave Tokyo after criticizing her country’s Olympic officials Krystsina Tsimanouskaya who was due to compete in the women’s 200m event on Monday, had complained on social media about being asked to run a different race at a short notice.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya visits Washington DC to seek help from US, while Belarus’ regime brutal crackdown on civil society continues Top Stories Jul 19: Blinken meets Belarus opposition leader as criticism against Lukashenka mounts US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and promised “to continue efforts to stand with the Belarusian people and their aspirations for human rights, democracy, and their broader Euro-Atlantic aspirations.” The meeting happened in the context of yet another series of crackdowns on the democratic opposition by the Lukashenka regime.
Vertical of Power - Artist: Lilia Kvatsabaya Top Stories Jul 14: Belarus targets rights activists, journalists with raids More than 40 raids took place across Belarus targeting the Human Rights center Viasna, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Belarusian Association of Journalists and others. Law enforcement raided groups that work on a wide range of human rights issues, including human rights education, social and economic rights, protection of media workers, freedom of expression online etc.
Intense crackdown on remaining independent media, repressions against Lukashenka’s political rivals & Belarus isolation continues Top Stories Jul 9: Belarus scales up crackdown on independents media The country’s law enforcement agencies have raided offices of several media outlets and conducted more than 30 searches at the offices and journalists’ apartments in the past two days. The state declared the raids and following arrests a part of a broad operation against “radical-minded individuals”, who have consistently covered months of protests and repressions that followed.
Love cannot be compelled - Artist: Lilia Kvatsabaya Top Stories Jul 3: Lithuania declares state of emergency due to migration surge from Belarus After detaining 150 illegal migrants who crossed the border from Belarus in one day, Lithuania declared a state of emergency. Lithuania government officials stated that the decision was made to access reserve state financing and find new ways to deal with the illegal immigration influx.
Human Rights violations tracker - International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Top Stories Jun 21: EU, US, UK, Canada join forces to slap sanctions on Belarus The four have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 78 Belarus officials and 8 entities. A total of 166 people and 15 entities are now under EU restrictive measures. EU foreign ministers agreed to sanction key sectors of the Belarusian economy and major revenue sources for the regime: potash fertilizer exports, the tobacco industry, petroleum, and petrochemical products.
Artist: Lilia Kvatsabaya Top Stories Jun 14: Opposition says jailed Belarusian blogger paraded as ‘trophy’ in latest public appearance Several news agencies left the press conference after jailed Belarusian journalist Roman Pratasevich joined the four uniformed officials there. Even though Pratasivech denied any wrongdoing by the state authorities after the plane carrying him was forced to land in Minsk, most of the opposition figures called his admissions coerced.
Belarus flight diversion - Patrick Chappatte (Der Spiegel) Top Stories Jun 10: Poland hits back as Belarus makes a Soviet invasion anniversary a public holiday Poland has criticized Belarus for establishing a holiday dedicated to people’s unity on 17 September - the day the USSR invaded Poland and Ukraine during World War II. “The establishment of a Day of People’s Unity to mark Belarus’s inclusion in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is the glorification of Soviet heritage and an attempt to cut Belarus off from its true roots," Poland said.
Raman Pratasevich, journalist kidnapped from hijacked Ryanair plane - coerced to do an interview on Belarus state television (ONT TV Channel/Reuters) Top Stories Jun 4: Detained Belarus dissident breaks down in state TV interview, renewing fears of coercion and torture Footage of kidnapped journalist Raman Pratasevich that aired on Belarusian state television has raised concerns that he was being coerced to take part in political propaganda under duress.
Forbidden tree - Artist: Lilia Kvatsabay Top Stories May 25: Belarus is on the agenda of President Biden’s meeting with Putin in Switzerland Belarus will be discussed during the upcoming US/Russia summit in Switzerland. President Joe Biden is expected to discuss the situation in Belarus, given that Russian allies in Belarus grounded an international Ryanair flight to arrest a journalist on board. Many hope that Biden will confront Putin for his role in enabling the Lukashenka regime, as the crackdown on dissidents intensifies there.