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Belarusian Human Rights Defenders Awarded With Homo Homini Prize

Belarusian Human Rights Defenders Awarded With Homo Homini Prize

The award ceremony took place in Prague on 10 May in an online format.

Belarusian human rights activists Maria (Marfa) Rabkova, Leanid Sudalenka, Tatsiana Lasitsa and Andrei Chapyuk, recognized as political prisoners, have been awarded the Czech Homo Homini (Man to Man) prize, the website naviny.by writes.

The award ceremony took place in Prague on 10 May in an online format.

The award was established in 1994 by the Czech non-governmental organization Man in Need. Awarded to individuals who have made "a significant contribution to the advancement of human rights, democracy, and non-violent methods of resolving socio-political conflicts."

The mayor of the Czech capital, Zdenek Grzib, noted at the ceremony that "Prague is an open, free city that tries to support democracy and human rights". With regard to democratic Belarus, he said, this concerns both symbolic support, expressed in the holding of thematic exhibitions, the use of national Belarusian symbols, and practical steps.

"We have approved measures that can be effective in influencing the Belarusian regime, we are trying to help the [Belarusians] living here," said the mayor of the Czech capital.

Grzhib noted the significant contribution of human rights defenders to the fight for human rights in Belarus. "This is something that is difficult to imagine in this country. And I hope that in this case human rights will be respected," the politician said.

Human rights activist Natallia Satsunkevich thanked the Czech side for the support of the Belarusian civil society and, in particular, the human rights center Viasna, formerly deprived of state registration. She recalled that nine months have passed since the presidential elections in Belarus, and "the political and social crisis is only getting worse." "More than 30 thousand people were repressed: they were detained, fined or arrested. Four people were killed during and after peaceful protests," the human rights activist recalled.

Hundreds of people received prison sentences for participating in the protests, 370 people have already been recognized as political prisoners in the country, she noted, stressing that now in the country virtually "any form of protest is prohibited".

According to Satsunkevich, in these conditions, the human rights community is busy with the difficult work of documenting crimes.

Awarded human rights defenders are suspects under Articles 293 (mass riots), 342 (organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation thereof) or 285 (creation of a criminal organization or participation thereof).