State repression in Belarus has reached unprecedented levels. This is shown by current figures, which Libereco has prepared and now published in several infographics.

Libereco has published several infographics on political repression in Belarus (see below). The figures show how drastically the regime in the EU neighbouring country represses dissenters – especially in comparison to previous years. According to the data, there are currently 256 political prisoners in Belarus (221 men, 35 women), who have been in prison for a total of more than 37,500 days – that is more than 102 years!

The figures, which Libereco has compiled with the help of its Belarusian partner organisation Viasna, show: So far, 76 of the political prisoners have been sentenced to prison terms totalling 235 years and 9 months. The average prison sentence is 3 years and 1 month. Of the current 256 political prisoners, 108 have been imprisoned for more than 150 days, 30 of them for more than 200 days. In many cases it is still not foreseeable when court hearings and sentences will even take place.

More political prisoners in Belarus than ever before

In 2011, the number of long-term political prisoners in the wake of a wave of arrests after the December 2010 presidential election was a then-record 29 prisoners, but from 2016 to 2019, only one or two political prisoners were counted each year. In the wake of last year’s rigged presidential election, the total number of political prisoners rose to a total of 187 cases in 2020 and 266 cases so far in 2021. Since the beginning of the year, only 10 political prisoners have been released.

Students have been particularly affected by repression, with over 400 arrested and 131 forcibly de-registered from their universities in 2020. Media representatives were victims of human rights violations in 540 cases during the exercise of their profession in 2020, and 477 journalists were arrested.

Hundreds of human rights violations, but not a single criminal case

In the entire year 2020, there were more than 33,000 politically motivated arrests, in the vast majority of cases these were arbitrary arrests of peaceful demonstrators, in some cases even of completely uninvolved passers-by. More than 600 people were injured during the arrests, and another 100 people were victims of state violence in detention. Belarusian human rights organisations have also documented more than 1000 cases of torture.

But so far, not a single criminal case has been brought against the state security forces responsible for this in Belarus – this alone shows that the regime of Alexander Lukashenka systematically disregards not only globally valid human rights, but also its own legislation.

The following infographics are available for free use and reprint: