The UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons has received information on violence and abuse against elderly political prisoners


BHC provided information to the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, which is a partial answer to its request to prepare a thematic Human Rights Council in 2023 on violence, abuse and neglect of older persons.

In the report we revealed that at least 40 elderly people are now imprisoned for political reasons, 5 of whom are over the age of 70.

We have drawn the experts' attention to the fact that a significant proportion of older prisoners are convicted under defamation articles for comments on the Internet and their sentences range from 1.5 to 3.5 years. At the same time, the highest prison sentences – from 8 to 25 years – are applied to political and public figures for their open position and activity against the current government's policies.

We explained that many of the political prisoners have serious health problems, which are exacerbated by constant pressure and inadequate detention conditions and shared specific cases of violation of the right to health.

Furthermore, in the information provided, we covered other forms of pressure in violation of the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as the rights to the humane treatment in detention, and to a fair trial, considering that 7 of the 40 elderly political prisoners are on the "terrorist" lists and are not allowed to receive remittances.

We emphasized that in Belarus there are no effective complaint mechanisms for human rights violations and no perpetrators have been brought to justice, despite complaints.