“We went for the peace, and ended up in prison”

Anti-war actions of citizens and the reaction of the Belarusian regime

The seventh interim report of the International Committee to Investigate Torture in Belarus, prepared in cooperation with the Monitoring Group “Belarusian Gayun”

Anyone who treats people like this should be punished.

From an interview with a participant in an anti-war rally

Since August 2020, Belarusians have been fighting the dictatorial regime of Lukashenka. And the regime, in turn, intensifies repression.

More than 1,200 people in Belarus have been recognized as political prisoners (according to the Human Rights Center “Viasna” at the time of writing the report)

Belarusians have not stopped fighting for two years now, but Russia’s war against Ukraine has provoked a new wave of protests.

  • at least 908 people were detained nationwide on referendum day, February 27, 2022
  • more than 1100 people were detained on February 27 and 28, 2022
  • at least 630 detainees on 27 and 28 sat for 15-30 days

Prisoners were tortured, treated cruelly, kept in inhuman conditions:

  • The cells were specially overcrowded – up to 32 people for 4 places. People slept in twos on beds with metal bars, on tables, under beds, on concrete or wooden floors.
  • They were brutally beaten.
  • They took away warm clothes and opened the windows.
  • They did not feed before the trial (1-5 days).
  • They did not give out personal hygiene products (toilet paper, pads, etc.).
  • They forced me not to sleep (they did a roll call every 2-3 hours at night, they did not turn off the light).
  • They didn’t provide mattresses, pillows or linen.
  • Transfers were not allowed.
  • They refused medical attention.

All victims had physical or social consequences: health problems, dismissal from work, expulsion from the university.

People were arrested for:

  • Participation in anti-war rallies
  • The inscription on the jacket “Not to war”
  • Post “No War” on Instagram
  • For the combination of yellow and blue in clothes (scarf, ribbon in the hair)
  • The priest was arrested for the sticker on the car “Ukraine, I’m sorry!”
  • People were detained in the Cathedral during a service for peace

Lukashenka’s complicity with the Putin regime forced Belarusians to move from peaceful protests to active actions – guerrilla warfare and sabotage on the railway. The goal of the Belarusian partisans was to prevent the movement of military equipment and weapons through the territory of Belarus.

80 acts of sabotage committed on the Belarusian railway

Partisans were detained with the use of military weapons and accused of terrorism.

In order to stop the partisan movement, the Belarusian regime hastily adopted amendments to the criminal code, according to which the use of the death penalty became possible even for planning terrorism.

The actions of the Lukashenka regime are aggression against Ukraine and the occupation of Belarus.