Belarus: Medical workers facing brutal reprisals for peaceful protest

Amnesty International Australia has written to Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, on a number of occarions in 2021 regarding the worsening human rights situation in Belarus.

National Director, Sam Klintworth, has this time written about the escalation of the wide scale crackdown on dissent which is now also targeting the medical community. Despite chronic staff shortages in hospitals, dozens of health workers have been dismissed and/or barred from medical employment, while still more have faced threats or prosecution. 

Amnesty International has also released a new briefing: Belarus: Crackdown on medics, “Do you want one of your children to dissapear?.

Amnesty International has worked with health workers in Belarus, who have told us of the horrors and brutality they have witnessed inflicted by security forces on peaceful protesters. This brutality has prompted many to join in protest themselves, wearing white robes and treating those who are injured along the way. Several reported being arrested during such peaceful demonstrations, resulting in extended periods of detention and inhumane treatment by police and prison guards. Others who have participated report on their loved ones being threatened, or themselves being dismissed from their position and barred from future work in the medical community.

The international community must not let this gross violation of human rights stand. Amnesty International urges the Australian government to speak up against the escalating crackdown on human rights in Belarus.

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Joel MacKay is a campaigner at Amnesty International Australia.