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  • A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

    Demonstrations and arrests:

    A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

    This last weekend, 25. – 26. March, peaceful protest actions took place across Russia, Belarus and in Kyrgyzstan, which were met with heavy police forces, mass arrests and violence from the authorities. Although they did not seem to have been coordinated in any way, the protests have in common that they were supported by citizens fed up with corruption and oppression. Governments of the three countries seem to know only one way of reacting: Interdiction, violence and detentions. Still, citizens for the first time in a very long time, defied fears and participated. The participation across Russia, not limited to big cities, had not been seen for years.

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  • Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

    Belarus:

    Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

    We strongly condemn the continuing wave of detentions and harassment of peaceful protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, anarchists and opposition party members in Belarus. More than 250 people have been detained since 3 March, and several detentions have been carried out with excessive use of force. On the eve of planned demonstrations in Minsk and several other places in Belarus on 25 March, we urge President Lukashenka to abide human rights principles.
    Photo by Andrey Liankevich.

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  • Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

    Azerbaijan:

    Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

    On March 16, Azerbaijan's authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev displayed another self-serving magnanimity and pretended to be merciful. He signed a decree, pardoning 423 prisoners, among them 4 activists that human rights groups have labeled as political prisoners. This is happy news for all of those pardoned and their families, but there is very little else to celebrate. The decree left many political prisoners firmly behind bars, in prisons populated by prominent dissenters and activists.

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