On 2 March, Katsiaryna Barysevich, a TUT.BY journalist, and Artsiom Sarokin, a medical doctor, were sentenced in a closed-door trial to six months and two years of imprisonment respectively for their roles in disclosing the true cause of Raman Bandarenka’s death. According to credible reports, Mr Bandarenka was shamefully beaten to death on 11 November 2020 by individuals associated with the enforcement personnel. Those responsible have not been brought to justice.
For too long, Belarusians have been denied their fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and information and the most basic rights such as the right to a transparent and fair trial. These violations are unacceptable and go against Belarus’ international commitments to respect human rights. The EU will continue to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate request for democracy and respect of fundamental freedoms. The European Union will continue to actively support efforts established for the collection of the evidence of torture and repressions in Belarus and to hold those responsible to account.