The Belarusian government cracked down on protesters sending in police and military who bashed them with clubs and arrested them en masse for crimes against the state.
“The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deeply concerned about the ongoing trials against the participants of events in Belarus on Dec. 19, 2010, including the ruling of Minsk court on May 14 sentencing Andrei Sannikov, one of the candidates in the Belarusian presidential elections,” the ministry said in an official statement.
Sannikov was sentenced to five years in prison for alleged organization of post-election protests.
“Freedom of assembly is one of the basic democratic rights, and the imprisonment of individuals contradicts the OSCE commitments of basic human rights and freedoms,” the statement said.
The OSCE, which is currently chaired by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis, has repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to cease political harassment of the Belarusian opposition, media and civil society, engage in dialogue with the international community and implement its OSCE commitments.
Following the protests President Aleksandr Lukashenko had the OSCE office in Minsk shut down.
Representatives of OSCE/ODIHR and the diplomatic community are monitoring the trials of participants of Dec. 19 demonstrations.