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Woman human rights defender Volha Harbunova included in the list of detainees considered as “inclined to extremist and other destructive action”

Status: 
Detained
About the situation

On 30 November 2021, woman rights defender Volha Harbunova’s former colleagues reported that Belarusian authorities included her in the list of detainees considered as “inclined to extremism and other destructive actions”. A day before, on 29 November 2021, her detention was extended for two more months for her alleged involvement in women’s marches in the summer of 2020. Volha Harbunova is yet to face charges from the state.

On 9 November 2021, police arrested woman human rights defenderVolha Harbunova in Minsk in relation to her alleged involvement in organising marches supporting women’s rights in the summer of 2020. She in currently detained in the Okrestina detention centre in Minsk.

About the HRD

Volha Harbunova is a Belarusian woman human rights defender. She is the former head of the non-governmental organisation Radislava. Radislava was established in 2002 by survivors of gender-based violence to help and offer support to women who are suffering from domestic and gender-based violence. Volha Harbunova also created the social enterprise called Norm Cafe, which is an inclusive and safe cultural and social space that provides training and employment for women. In March 2021 Norm Cafe shut down due to security and economic reasons.

8 December 2021
Woman human rights defender Volha Harbunova included in the list of detainees considered as “inclined to extremist and other destructive action”

On 30 November 2021, woman rights defender Volha Harbunova’s former colleagues reported that Belarusian authorities included her in the list of detainees considered as “inclined to extremism and other destructive actions”. A day before, on 29 November 2021, her detention was extended for two more months for her alleged involvement in women’s marches in the summer of 2020. Volha Harbunova is yet to face charges from the state.

Volha Harbunova is a Belarusian woman human rights defender. She is the former head of the non-governmental organization Radislava. Radislava was established in 2002 by survivors of gender-based violence to help and offer support to women suffering from domestic and gender-based violence. Volha Harbunova also created the social enterprise Norm Cafe, an inclusive, safe, cultural and social space that provides training and employment for women. In March 2021, Norm Cafe shut down due to security and economic reasons.

On 20 November 2021, authorities transferred Volha Harbunova to the Minsk pre-trial detention center No.1, also informally known as Valadarka pre-trial detention facility. At Valadarka, the woman human rights defender faced severe threats, including rape threats from the correctional officers. She also reported that men carry out body searches of women inmates.

On 9 November 2021, Belarusian authorities detained Volha Harbunova in the Okrestina detention centre, in Minsk. The woman human rights defender reported the inhumane conditions of the pre-trial detention facility: the detention units barely have heating, there are no mattresses for the inmates, and a non-existent sanitary regime within the facility. The woman human rights defender noted forced sleep deprivation, as the guards play loud music every two hours to keep the detainees awake. Volha Harbunova also reported that she was on a hunger strike for ten consecutive days while in Okrestina.

 

16 November 2021
Woman human rights defender Volha Harbunova detained

On 9 November 2021, police arrested woman human rights defender Volha Harbunova in Minsk in relation to her alleged involvement in organising marches supporting women’s rights in the summer of 2020. She in currently detained in the Okrestina detention centre in Minsk.

Download the urgent appeal.

Volha Harbunova is a Belarusian woman human rights defender. She is the former head of the non-governmental organisation Radislava. Radislava was established in 2002 by survivors of gender-based violence to help and offer support to women who are suffering from domestic and gender-based violence. Volha Harbunova also created the social enterprise called Norm Cafe, which is an inclusive and safe cultural and social space that provides training and employment for women. In March 2021 Norm Cafe shut down due to security and economic reasons.

On 9 November 2021, woman human rights defenderVolha Harbunova was arrested by police in Minsk. Upon her arrest, the woman human rights defender was placed in detention the Okrestina detention centre in Minsk where she remains. Volha Harbunova is allegedly being accused of violating Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Republic of Belarus, in relation to her role in organising marches in support of women’s rights in the summer 2020 in Minsk. If convicted, she could face up to three years in prison. Volha Harbunova is yet to be given access to her lawyer in the detention facility.

Front Line Defenders expresses grave concerns about the detention of woman human rights defender Volha Harbunova and believes it is in retaliation for her long-term, peaceful and legitimate human rights work. Front Line Defenders reiterates its concern about the major crackdown against human rights defenders and members of civil society who are outspoken and critical of the government in Belarus.