On December 19, over 600 civil society activists were arrested and detained en masse in Minsk. The Belarusian secret police arrested 34 members of the opposition amongst them presidential candidates, journalists and activists. The state has charged them with “organising mass disorders”. These charges could lead to a jail sentence of up to 15 years. According to our sources they have been denied access to their legal advisors and doctors despite their injuries from the KGB during the demonstrations. The Belarus Committee is calling for the detained prisoners of conscience to be immediately released.Read more
Belarus is one of the world's least free countries. Ranked worse than Iran on press freedom, worse than Zimbabwe on human rights, opposition activists have 'disappeared' or died in disputed circumstances and youth leaders subjected to mock executions. Meanwhile tens of thousands of its citizens have been denied permission to leave the country and European leaders like Silvio Berlusconi and businesses turn a blind eye to the regime's worst abuses in the interests of profit. Please sign our petition so that the people of Europe's last dictatorship are not forgotten.Sign now
Belarus is Europe's last dictatorship, yet there has been little or no political will to put pressure on the regime to uphold international human rights standards. Index on Censorship is working with civil society groups in Belarus to make the case in the West that more must to be done. Your support makes a huge difference to the ordinary groups in Belarus today who are fighting against the odds to exercise their fundamental right to free expression and free association.What can I do to help?
Václav Havel, Jeremy Irons, Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Samuel West, Hanif Kureishi, Juliet Stevenson, Michael Sheen, Katie Mitchell, Neil Tennant, David Lan, Michael Attenborough, Dominic Cooke, Alistair Spalding, Stephen Daldry, Neil Bartlett, Paul Greengrass, Eve Best, Sean Holmes, Michael Morris, Dominic Dromgoole, Ramin Gray, Mark Rubinstein, Daniel Evans, Carrie Cracknell and Natalie AbrahamiSign Now