(Minsk) – Police in Belarus arrested and beat an opposition activist Ales Lahvinets, causing him to be hospitalized for three days with multiple injuries, before a court sentenced him on March 27, 2017, to 10 days’ detention on fabricated hooliganism charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should immediately free Lahvinets, and promptly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Lahvinets and his son in custody.
Police cracked down violently during several weeks of protests and in advance of the “Freedom Day” rally on March 25, arresting hundreds of people, including journalists and human rights activists.
“We are deeply concerned about Ales Lahvinets’ safety,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Belarus researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The false charges and beating are completely outrageous and sadly emblematic of the latest vicious government crackdown in Belarus.”