Lukashenko detains hundreds of Belarusians for supporting Ukraine

January 9,2024 2375
Lukashenko detains hundreds of Belarusians for supporting Ukraine

Belarus has detained at least 1645 of its citizens for their anti-war stance following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, reported the Belarusian human rights center Viasna.

In total, 82 Belarusians have received prison sentences ranging from 1 to 23 years for their anti-war stance. Additionally, in Belarus, 13 individuals have been convicted for railway sabotage, totaling 199.5 years of imprisonment.

“With Lukashenko’s consent, Russia actively uses Belarusian territory for the war against Ukraine. Much military equipment is transported by rail. With the start of the full-scale invasion, Belarusians disrupted the railway to prevent the movement of this equipment. Due to sabotage on the railway, the authorities have made special changes to the criminal law. Now, the highest penalty may be imposed not only for terrorism but even for an attempt of terrorism,” writes Viasna.

At least 35 people have been imprisoned for sharing photos and videos of Russian military equipment. Thirteen individuals were sentenced for intending to fight on Ukraine’s side. Twenty-six people faced persecution for publicly condemning Russian aggression, supporting Belarusian volunteers, and expressing support for Ukraine.

“In Belarus, people are still persecuted for open support of Ukraine and subjected to administrative arrests: for public slogans like “Glory to Ukraine,” for having the Ukrainian flag on avatars on social networks, and even for singing the Ukrainian anthem in karaoke,” reports Viasna.

People are also arrested in Belarus for saying or writing “No to war!”, laying flowers at the Ukrainian embassy, and wearing yellow-and-blue ribbons.

Cover: Shutterstock

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