On Saturday 25 March the Minsk office of the Belarusian EPDE-member organisation Human Rights Center Viasna was raided by the police. 57 human rights defenders, among them the Chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Aleh Hulak, also a member of EPDE, were detained. The lawyer of the HRC Viasna was hospitalized after he was beaten by the police.
The detainees were volunteers that were expected to observe today's protest in central Minsk among them international observers, representatives of foreign media and human rights organizations. All detained were released later the same day. Several hundred protesters have been detained in Belarus, in a crackdown to prevent mass protest against president Lukashenko's authoritarian regime.
EPDE calls on the Belarusian authorities to release the peaceful protesters that were detained during today's protests and to guarantee the freedom of assembly in the country.
More news on the website of HRC Viasna.