Belarusian human rights defenders send letter to Russian ambassador over Ukraine invasion

A Belarusian human rights organization called Vyasna (Spring) has sent a letter to Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Surikov expressing...

 

A Belarusian human rights organization called Vyasna (Spring) has sent a letter to Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Surikov expressing indignation at the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, BelaPAN  said.

Vyasna demands that the Russian government respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and stop its military intervention in pursuance of international agreements, including Russia's commitments as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Vyasna calls on Russia not to use weapons and physical force against peaceful civilians and Ukrainian military officers in occupied areas, immediately lift the siege of military installations in Ukraine and withdraw its troops to their home stations pursuant to the 2010 Kharkiv Accords. Vyasna urges Russia to refrain from escalating the conflict and immediately start talks with the Ukrainian government.

Vyasna notes that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits the use of torture and other types of cruel and inhuman treatment even during armed conflicts and warns that the Russian leadership and President Vladimir Putin in particular will bear full responsibility for any military and civilian casualties resulting from Russia's "undisguised act of aggression."

According to human rights defender Tatsyana Ravyaka, a member of Vyasna, the letter was mailed to the Russian embassy after its officers refused to accept it.

On March 2, more than 20 people were arrested by police near the embassy when they attempted to stage a protest against the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine. Most of the protesters were soon released, but three were punished with jail terms.