Arbitrarily detained, released after 5 days: Eco-activist Irina Sukhy spent almost a week in a detention for participating on a peaceful protest

25.9.2020 - MINSK
Irina Sukhy released

At the beginning of September, many environmental activists were detained in Belarus, which has caused a wave of indignation and solidarity across Europe. Among others, also Arnika wrote a letter to the Belarusian authorities and international organizations calling for an end of the persecution and the immediate release of Irina Sukhy. Thanks to the help of Irina’s family, friends, and hundreds of people from Belarus and abroad, the prominent eco-activist and the founder of Belarus’s NGO Ecohome was released after 5 days of detention.

Sukhy was detained on September 6th in her apartment in Minsk, being told it is because of her participation in the protest on September 3rd, 2020, when she was actually outside of Minsk with her friends and relatives. This was also confirmed by the witnesses during the online trial on September 7th.

The online trial continued on the next day when Sukhy was accused of participation in another mass event on August 29th, based on a picture from social media of Irina holding a banner against the nuclear power plant. Her attendance was, as Sukhy herself said during the trial, legal and based on the constitutional right to a peaceful assembly, expressing her civil opinion. The participants of the trial described it as "5 minutes to get acquainted with the case materials, 5 minutes to talk to a lawyer, a new protocol and 5 days of arrest".

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