Belarus: Authorities threatening women political activists ahead of election

World News


Belarus: Authorities threatening women political activists ahead of election


President Alyaksandr Lukashenka seeking re-election next month for sixth consecutive term.

Activists threatened that their children will be taken into state custody, and with sexual violence.

‘These deeply disturbing patterns are no doubt fuelled by the state-sponsored misogyny so apparent in Belarus ahead of the August election’ - Marie Struthers

Belarusian authorities are “deliberately targeting” women activists and female family members of political opposition to silence their opponents, Amnesty International said today [17 July]. 

Authorities have been targeting women with gender-specific reprisals, including threats to take their children into state custody as well as threats of sexual violence. (...)

Presidential election

The presidential election is scheduled to take place on 9 August. Incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka is seeking re-election for a sixth consecutive term. 

His political rivals are facing severe reprisals. Two aspiring presidential candidates, Viktar Babaryka and Syarhei Tsikhanouski, were arbitrarily arrested and are currently remanded as criminal suspects on unfounded charges. 

The wife of the latter, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, entered the presidential race instead. She, along with other women political activists, has faced harassment and intimidation.

Click here to read the full article published by Amnesty International on 17 July 2020.