DOWNLOAD A PDF OF UA 85/22 BELOW
Belarusian human rights defender Nasta Loika has been arbitrarily detained since 6 September on trumped up charges of “petty hooliganism”. She is being denied access to her lawyer, warm clothing, and basic necessities, as well as to the medical care she requires. Nasta Loika is being targeted solely for her human rights activism and must be immediately released.
On 22 September 2022, the Frunzenski District Court of Minsk sentenced her to 15 days’ detention on purported “petty hooliganism” charges, a violation under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences. Before that, on 7 September 2022, Nasta Loika was already sentenced to 15 days on the same charges.
Nasta Loika is a well-known human rights defender, human rights educator and expert on refugee rights.
Her persecution is yet another blow to freedom of expression and human rights in Belarus. She is being targeted for her legitimate activities as a human rights defender and has committed no crime.
Write to the Prosecutor General urging him to:
- ensure that Nasta Loika is released immediately and all charges against her are dropped
- ensure that she is treated in accordance with international standards for the treatment of prisoners
Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General
Shidlovsky Pavel Adamovich
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Embassy of the Republic of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
Fax: 1 202 986 1805
Nasta Loika is a prominent Belarusian human rights defender and educator, focusing on human rights violations resulting from the repressive “anti-extremist” legislation in Belarus, the protection of foreign citizens and stateless persons in Belarus, and on human rights education.
Nasta Loika was arbitrarily detained on 6 September 2022 as she was leaving the Minsk City Court after attending the hearing where human rights defenders Marfa Rabkova, Andrei Chapyuk and their eight co-defendants were handed lengthy prison sentences on fabricated charges. On 7 September, Nasta Loika was sentenced to 15 days in detention, purportedly for “petty hooliganism”, a violation under Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences. Nasta Loika has committed no crime and she is being targeted in retaliation for her work. On 22 September, the Frunzenski District Court of Minsk sentenced her again to 15 days in detention on the same charges.
The hearing on 22 September was online, and Nasta Loika was not allowed to attend. She has also been denied access to her lawyer. The authorities have also refused her medical treatment that she needs, and basic necessities, including warm clothes and drinking water.
This is not the first time that Nasta Loika has faced persecution for her human rights activism – since August 2021, she remains a suspect in a criminal case related to the activities of the Human Rights Center Viasna.
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