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Chronicle of Human Rights Violations in Culture (16-28 February 2022)


On February 27-28, actions against military aggression against Ukraine were held in Belarus. Anti-war actions in Belarus took place in the context of the referendum on amendments to the Constitution. On the main day of voting on February 27, people came out to protest against the referendum, as well as against the participation of Belarus in the war with Ukraine. 

According to human rights defenders, about 800 people were detained during peaceful actions in Belarus. Among the detained, there were cultural workers, authors, and performers. On February 28th more than 60 people were detained at anti-war actions. The police drew up charges sheets against the protesters under the following articles: Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code (participation in mass events), Article 19.1 of the Administrative Code (disorderly conduct) or Article 24.3 of the Administrative Code (disobedience to law enforcement officers). 

Reports were drawn up for detained protesters under Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code (participation in mass events), Article 19.1 of the Administrative Code ( hooliganism) or Article 24.3 of the Administrative Code (disobedience to law enforcement officers). 

In the period before the referendum, the authorities carried out preventive administrative detentions, arrests and searches all over Belarus, which included cultural workers. 

During the referendum on amendments to the Constitution, the authorities violated the right to use the Belarusian language, which is the state one. The commissions simply had no ballots in the Belarusian language. 

From February 16 to 28, 2022 two politically-motivated criminal cases against cultural workers were brought to trial.  

The authorities continue administrative and criminal prosecution for the use of national symbols.