UN human rights chief condemns use of violence in Belarus against protesters, after ‘6,000 people detained in 3 days’

The United Nations human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, on Wednesday condemned the use of violence by the Belarusian authorities to quash peaceful protests.

After President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in Sunday’s election, Bachelet said police were reported to have used excessive force, firing rubber bullets, using water cannon, and throwing stun grenades, Reuters reports.

“Reports suggest that [approximately] 6,000 people have been detained in the last three days, including bystanders, as well as minors, suggesting a trend of massive arrests in clear violation of international human rights standards,” Bachelet said in a statement.

Even more disturbing are the reports of “ill treatment during and after detention,” she said. The human rights commissioner called for the release of all those unlawfully detained and for investigations into the abuses of power.