Sources concur that around 600 demonstrators and opposition politicians, among them several candidates for the presidency, have been arrested in the course of the presidential elections in Belarus. A large number of them have already been subject to ad-hoc trials and sentenced to several days in prison.
Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (21 December):
“Falsifying and manipulating the elections, using police violence against demonstrators, condemning hundreds of citizens for claiming their right to freedom of assembly, arresting, abusing and publicly humiliating opposition presidential candidates – in the aftermath of these elections, the Belarusian Government has revealed its true face as Europe’s last dictatorship.
I pledge solidarity with those who have been imprisoned for claiming their inalienable right to freedom of opinion.
I condemn the actions of the Belarusian authorities in the strongest possible terms and call upon the President to order the immediate release of all those arrested.”