After Alexander Lukashenko was claimed to have won the presidential election in August 2020, Minsk and other Belorussian cities saw nonviolent mass protests led by people who defended their vote. Within the first few days after the election, several thousand people were detained. They were joined by foreign nationals and stateless persons (hereafter “foreigners”), who had come to Belarus as tourists or lived in the country for a long time.
Although the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion, and free expression are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and international acts, which constitute laws of the Republic, brutal crackdowns on nonviolent protests and following repression against participants continue. Foreigners are particularly vulnerable given that they may be expelled from the country for participating in demonstrations, not to mention such administrative sanctions as arrests and fines.