“The criminal prosecution and sentencing of Nasta Loika, a prominent human rights defender, to seven years of imprisonment is another illustration of the systematic repression against civil society and critical voices unfolding in Belarus since the 2020 presidential elections”, said today Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović.
“This sentence, based on charges defying credibility, comes as the latest step in her prolonged persecution by the authorities, including her repeated detention, harassment against her lawyers and the dissolution of the well-established human rights NGO Human Constanta where she held a leading role for many years.
The repression of human rights in Belarus continues to deepen, targeting civil society actors, human rights defenders, lawyers, independent journalists and anti-war activists. Like many other victims of reprisals in Belarus, Nasta Loika should never have been prosecuted and imprisoned for her legitimate human rights work. I reiterate my call on Council of Europe member states to stand in solidarity with Belarusian human rights defenders and civil society and to support them.”
- Human Rights Comment “Support Russian and Belarusian civil societies and human rights defenders”