Cases in Belarus





Zmister Bandarenka is a journalist, civil society leader, and member of the political opposition in Belarus. He was arrested during the post election crackdown in December 2010 and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on charges of organizing and participating in a breach of public order. The government pardoned Mr. Bandarenka on April 15, 2012.


Iryna Khalip is a journalist and the wife of imprisoned opposition leader Andrei Sannikov. Police arrested Ms. Khalip as she and her husband traveled to a hospital following the post-election crackdown on December 19, 2010. She was convicted on charges for organizing or participating in a public disorder and given a two year suspended sentence.



Andrei Sannikov is a former diplomat and the most prominent member of the opposition in Belarus. Authorities beat and arrested Mr. Sannikov, along with his wife, after they attended a demonstration on December 19, 2010. He was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of organizing or participating in a mass riot. The government pardoned Mr. Sannikov on April 14, 2012.


Mikalai Statkevich is a politician and former presidential candidate, who was wrongfully detained as a result of his peaceful struggle for free and fair elections in Belarus. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Statkevich played an active role in Belarus’s pro-democracy political opposition. He was released from prison in August 2015.

Selected documents from Cases in Belarus's case
Free the prisoners of Europe’s last dictatorDecember 19, 2012

Times of London op-ed by former Freedom Now client Andrei Sannikov calling for the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseApril 16, 2012

Announcing the release of Mr. Sannikov and Mr. Bandarenka from detention in Belarus.

Imprisoned in BelarusDecember 22, 2011

The Washington Post op-ed by Irina Bogdanova commenting on the plight of her brother, Andrei Sannikov, who is a political prisoner in Belarus.

Letter from 28 Members of the U.S. House of RepresentativeMay 14, 2012

Urging the International Ice Hockey Federation to move its 2014 World Hockey Championship from Minsk, Belarus.

Media Release: Belarusian Politician Mikalai Statkevich Released From PrisonAugust 24, 2015

Freedom Now statement on release of Mikalai Statkevich

Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionMay 4, 2012

Finding the detention of Mr. Sannikov in violation of international law.

Petition to the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of Mikalai StatkevichNovember 21, 2013

Submitted by Freedom Now, McKool Smith PC, and Hogan Lovells US LLP on behalf of Marina Adamovich and Mikalai Statkevich.

Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionSeptember 15, 2011

Submitted by Hogan Lovells US LLP pn behalf of Mr. Sannikov

Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionDecember 20, 2011

Submitted by Hogan Lovells US LLP on behalf of Mr. Bandarenka

Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsSeptember 12, 2014

Report regarding arbitrary detention submitted as part of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Belarus.