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Nasta Loika

Nasta Loika

Human Rights Defender of the Year

Nasta Loika is a prominent Belarusian woman human rights defender working in the field of human rights education. She also addresses repressive “anti-extremist” laws, and advocates for the protection of the migrants and stateless people's rights in Belarus. In the summer of 2021, Belarusian authorities shut down the organization where Nasta Loika previously worked – Human Constanta, which promoted public interests and joint actions in response to modern challenges in the field of human rights – as a part of an orchestrated attack against the civil society in the country. The woman human rights defender is the recipient of the Human Rights Defender of the Year 2022 award in recognition of her outstanding work from the Belarus human rights community.

The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Belarus has continuously deteriorated since an authoritarian political regime was established there in 1994. HRDs are systematically subjected to intimidation and harassment, including judicial harassment, restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly, and movement, as well as arbitrary detention and conviction, ill-treatment and defamation, searches of offices and personal belongings, and confiscations of equipment. The widespread impunity of law enforcement officers contributes to even further human rights violations and retaliations against HRDs.