“The Belarusian anti-nuclear movement led by Ecohome has been one of the strongest manifestations of civil protest in the past decade. The regime is now using the confusing situation during the massive protests of civil society against falsifying the results of the presidential election to settle accounts with its critics and inconvenient people,” says Martin Skalsky, chairman of the Arnika association and head of the Citizens Support Center.
The state has persecuted environmental activists for a long time, as confirmed by the Compliance Committee's investigation of the international Aarhus Convention. Belarusian police and courts are now massively punishing citizens for participating in "unauthorized" anti-regime demonstrations, which according to the local law is a criminal offense. A prominent Ecohome activist and founder, Irina Sukhy, was detained for five days on a fictitious charge.
Marina Dubina was accused of taking part in an unauthorized demonstration in Minsk on September 23rd, despite testimony and evidence that she was in Brest at the time. Police subsequently rewrote the date in the protocol on August 23rd. Dubina has not denied her participation in the August demonstration, but despite the lack of evidence and many inconsistencies, the court sentenced her to prison. She is supposed to be released on Monday, October 19th.