Free LGBT+ activist Victoria Biran

Victoria Biran Photo by Violetta Savchits
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At the time of her arrest Victoria Biran was holding a rainbow flag and, according to her friends and fellow activists present at the scene, this drew the attention of riot police to her and resulted in her arrest.

According to countless first-hand testimonies, widely available photographic and video material, and medical documents, many, if not all of those detained during the overwhelmingly peaceful protests that followed the Presidential elections on 9 August, have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment during their arrest and in detention. The detention center on Akrestina street (commonly known just as “Akrestina”), in the Belarusian capital Minsk, where Victoria Biran is held, has become synonymous with the practice of beatings and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

The detention of Victoria Biran comes in the context of a drastic deterioration in the human rights situation in Belarus.

During the electoral campaign period and following the presidential election on 9 August, there have been mass peaceful protests including against the widely disputed official results. Throughout, the authorities have engaged in an escalating campaign against the opposition and all dissenting voices. Thousands of people have been arbitrarily arrested by police, an overwhelming majority of them peaceful protesters or bystanders, and many apprehended in abduction-style arrest by masked plain-clothed men. They should all be immediately released, and all other human rights violations must stop immediately, including the dispersal of peaceful assemblies, mass arrests and the widespread ill-treatment and torture of detainees.

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