BELARUS

We see the numerous shocking events in Belarus as an opportunity to rally together and demand an immediate end to all persecution, repression and torture of all opposition and civil society actors.

Solidarity with the Belarusian democracy movement – rally on September 18, 2021

Since the rigged presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020, the repression against the democracy movement has assumed unimaginable proportions. More than 10.000 people have been arrested, physically abused and tortured and held for months in overcrowded prison cells, in some cases without trial or formal charges. The state apparatus has used massive violence against members of the opposition, and there have already been several deaths as a result of the state violence.

Even media workers who simply report on current events live in constant fear. Many of them have already been arrested and sentenced to long terms at show trials. Two journalists, Darya Chultsova and Katerina Andreeva who worked for the independent television channel Belsat, were arrested for their live-stream on November 15, 2020, commenting on the brutal repression of civilians by the police and military. Each was sentenced to two years in a penal colony.

The brutal and at the same time behind-the-scenes actions of the Lukashenko regime against Belarusian media workers culminated in the forced landing of a commercial plane by a Belarusian fighter jet with the sole purpose of arresting the blogger Roman Protasevich, who lives abroad, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapieha.

But it is not only the media and opposition activists who are subject to state repression. On Friday July 23, 2021 alone, 47 non-governmental organisations were banned and removed from the national register of associations, including associations such as the Belarusian Press Association or the writer’s association PEN. An organisation dedicated exclusively to the cultivation of the Belarusian language and culture was also among the victims of the state purge. This approach shows that President Lukashenko’s long-standing dictatorial regime wants to destroy a critical and independent civil society. He is supported by Russian President Putin, with whom Lukashenko recently discussed separate measures for closer cooperation between the two neighbouring states.

We see the numerous shocking events in Belarus as an opportunity to hold a rally and to stand up for freedom and democracy for the people of Belarus. Europe must show together that Lukashenko’s system has no future!

In particular, we demand:

  • an immediate end to all harassment, repression and torture of all opposition and civil society actors
  • an immediate release of all political prisoners
  • holding new free, democratic elections in Belarus
  • to accept all migrants from Belarus and support the neighbouring states of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, which suffer directly from the consequences of the flight and migration of Belarusian dissidents
  • a deployment of a special federal commission to develop additional, appropriate economic and financial sanctions against the Belarusian regime
  • a temporary withdrawal of German companies from Belarus as long as Lukashenko’s state terror continues
  • a restoration of all independent Belarusian media
  • we call on the European Union and the OSCE to support the peaceful democratic movement in Belarus

Signed by:

 

International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)

Martina Feldmayer (member of the landtag (Alliance 90/The Greens))

Kulturverein Belarus (KuB) e.V.

Presidium of the Exil-PEN club of the German-speaking countries

Ulli Nissen (member of the Bundestag (SPD))

Axel Kaufmann (Bundestag candidate, CDU)

CDU Parliamentary Group Hesse

SPD Parliamentary Group Hesse

Gerhard Keller and Susanne Köhler, the Board of WAHRHEITSKÄMPFER e.V.

Would you also like to sign our resolution? Please send us your details by Wednesday, 15 September to kampagnen@igfm.de.