MINSK - 72 Hours That Changed Belarus tells the story of the post-election collapse of human rights in the country through the first-hand experiences of those affected the most: a young couple injured by a stun grenade, a recent law graduate who documented torture and later fled to protect herself and the evidence, a blogger and a student who were tortured inside the infamous Okrestina jail in Minsk.
On August 9, 2020, despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Belarusians lined up to cast their ballots in the Presidential election. For many, it was a chance to once again challenge the dictatorial grip of Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994. When Lukashenko announced a landslide 80% victory and the sixth term in office, dozens of thousands of citizens streamed into the streets to protest against the election that they believed was stolen. The regime responded by unleashing an unprecedented level of violence. In the first 72 hours after the election, over 6,500 people were arrested, thousands were beaten and tortured, four people died. This article is a timely reminder of the oppressive regime and disenfranchisement of the civil society in Belarus, which is now considered Russia's ally in its war in Ukraine.
In 2023, the project got nominated for the Fetisov Journalism Awards and Amnesty Media Award.
Photo credit: Jacobin Italia
- L’annessione silenziosa - Jacobin Italia (Italia), 12/03/2022.
- 'Walking reminders of atrocities' - Al Jazeera English, 17/03/2022.
- ‘We have one enemy’: The Belarusians who oppose the Ukraine war - Al Jazeera English, 22/03/2022.
- Telling the stories of brutality - reporting on political prisoners in Belarus - Al Jazeera Media Institute, 30/03/2022.
- ‘Walking Reminders of Atrocities’ - Transitions, 28/04/2022.
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