On September 7, police in plain clothes dragged opposition leader Maryia Kalesnikava into a van in Minsk.

Two days later officials confirmed she was in custody, facing charges of crimes against the state. She is only the latest opposition activist to be arbitrarily arrested.

Since Belarus’ presidential election on August 9, the world has been shocked by reports exposing brutal police violence against peaceful protesters, in the streets and in detention.

Thousands have been arbitrarily detained, torture has been widespread, and at least four protesters have died. 

Katsyaryna told Amnesty was detained and accused of participating in an ‘unauthorised rally.’ In detention she saw dozens of people kicked and beaten by police. She was told by police, “If we see you here again, we’ll kill you.”

Call for the protection of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Belarus and demand the police end the violent crackdown against peaceful protesters.