France urged the Belarusian authorities on Thursday to release "
" at the time of the trial of several collaborators of the information site Tut.by, the main independent media in Belarus.
The trial of contributors to the Tut.by news site, including its editor-in-chief Marina Zolotova and general director Lyudmila Tchekina, “
confirms the relentless hardening of the repression against free media, in violation of international commitments made by
” , reacted François Delmas, spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a press briefing.
We again call for the release of all political prisoners unjustly detained
,” he added.
Wave of repression
The trial began on Monday behind closed doors in this former Soviet republic, the Belarusian human rights center Viasna said.
This trial is part of the ongoing wave of repression in Belarus since a large protest movement in 2020 to denounce the controversial re-election of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The Tut.by site had covered this protest which gathered tens of thousands of people in the streets of Minsk and other cities for weeks.
François Delmas also deplored the arrest of Andrei Dmitriev, "
after other candidates for the 2020 presidential election
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This new arrest “
demonstrates the continuation of the oppression of the Belarusian authorities against democracy
”, he underlined.
We condemn the continued repression which is hitting more and more hard men and women engaged in civic life and which extends to those who demand free elections
”, he added.
Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met on October 6 with Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, a figure of the Belarusian opposition.
She then assured "
of France's support for the fight of the Belarusian opposition for democracy and peace, more than two years after the fraudulent election of August 9, 2020
", finally underlined François Delmas.