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Press briefing notes on Belarus

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssell

Location: Geneva

Date: 01 March 2022

With regard to Belarus, where constitutional changes were put to national referendum, we understand that many of the people arrested in several cities on Sunday are being placed in administrative detention for up to two weeks or are facing significant fines.

The Ministry of the Interior has said some 800 people were arrested. Local human rights defenders say they have reports of some 744 detentions in the capital, Minsk, and other large cities. Arrests included people chanting "no war" and expressing support for Ukraine, as well criticising the Government's lack of transparency and consultations in preparation for the referendum.

We call on the Belarusian authorities to respect people's right to freedom of expression and assembly. All those detained for peaceful expression of their opinions should be immediately released.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact:

Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org

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