“The organization believes that the clampdown forms part of the government`s continuing attempts to intimidate and obstruct youth activists, and civil society as a whole, from exercising their rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression,” the international human rights watchdog says in its statement.
Amnesty International says that more than a dozen opposition youths have been jailed in Belarus in the last six weeks. The organization has urged the Belarusian authorities to “stop using” the Administrative Offenses Code for imposing jail sentences on opposition youths “for doing no more than peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression.”
Apart from this, Amnesty International has called on the Belarusian government to “immediately review laws, regulations and practices relating to the registration and activities of non-governmental organizations,” particularly Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code, which envisages punishment for involvement in an unregistered organization. The organization warns that the Belarusian authorities should honor their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
The organization has urged the Belarusian authorities “to immediately stop the obstruction, harassment and intimidation of civil society activists engaged directly or indirectly in the promotion and defense of human rights in Belarus.”