A recording with English subtitles is now available of the event on Belarus, organized by the Belarusian Association in Italy “Supolka”
It is now eight months since the night of 9-10 August 2020, when peaceful protests broke out in Belarus to contest the results of the fraudulent elections, which attributed the victory to the outgoing President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994 and is considered “the last dictator of Europe”.
Authorities responded to the demonstrations with disproportionate violence: law enforcement used stun grenades, rubber bullets and batons against unarmed people.
According to the Minister of the Interior, at least 6700 people were arrested as a result of the protests between 9 and 12 August.
Since then, people throughout the country have continued to take to the streets peacefully on a regular basis, to defend their human rights that have been systematically violated.
During the mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators, hundreds of brutal beatings by law enforcement have been reported, as well as acts that could be considered torture, rape and other inhumane treatments.
To date, there have been more than 35,000 arrests: among those arrested there were mothers and fathers, doctors, professors, athletes, television presenters, musicians, workers and anyone who disagreed with the regime. 354 people have been declared political prisoners and this number is growing day by day.
In addition to the daily violence suffered by Belarusian citizens since last August, there has also been government repression of young people, especially students, with the clear intent to block a youth resistance in support of the citizens.
The first semester of the academic year 2020/21 was inaugurated by the repression against students, which is an unprecedented fact in the modern history of Belarus. There have been more than 400 arrests of students, with 101 sentences to 12 days in prison on average.
265 cases of pressure on students, from University Administrations have been documented, and the result was the expulsion of 131 students accused of taking a position of non-passivity and silence in face of the violence of the authorities on their citizens.
What is even more horrific that criminal cases have been opened against some students, with unspeakably cruel sentences: years in prison in dramatic conditions for young people who were only guilty of parading during demonstrations, brutally arrested and deprived of regular contact with lawyers and families.
In this event we want to talk about them and the violation of academic freedoms by the dictatorship.
We will address this issue with some important guests such as:
Paolo De Stefani – Professor of International Protection of Human Rights, Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca”, University of Padua.
Angela Di Gregorio – Professor of Comparative Public Law at the Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies of the State University of Milan, one of the founding universities of SAR (Scholars At Risk)
Ekaterina Ziuziuk – president and spokeswoman of the Belarusian Association in Italy “Supolka”
And with Belarusian witnesses who suffered the repression on their own skin.