Sad-DayNine European civil and human rights organisations have published a joint open letter expressing their deepest concerns about the mass detentions and serious human rights violations in Belarus.

Open Letter by 9 European civil and human rights organisations

To the Belarusian Authorities

and to the Governments of all EU Member States

We, civil and human rights organisations of several European countries, jointly express our deepest concerns about the mass detentions and serious human rights violations in Belarus.

On the 19th of December up to 40,000 people took part in a demonstration in Minsk, which was brutally dispersed by riot police.

The presidential candidates Vladimir Neklyaev, Andrei Sannikov, Vital Rymasheuski, Mikalai Statkevich, Grigory Kostusev were beaten up and detained afterwards.

During the last days more than 600 people have reportedly been detained, among them two other presidential candidates, Ales Mіhalevіch and Dzmіtry Us, the chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak, the chairman of United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedka and the leader of Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich.

We urge the Belarusian Authorities to;

  • release all political prisoners in Belarus immediately and unconditionally
  • ensure the right to freedom of expression and assembly to all people in Belarus
  • end the persecution, harassment and intimidation of dissidents
  • bring to law those responsible for the beatings of peaceful demonstrators

We call upon the Governments of all EU Member States to;

  • stand up for human rights in Belarus, a country in the heart of Europe
  • announce immediately a travel ban to high officials from Belarus, responsible for the human rights violations mentioned above, including President Lukashenka
  • support all people in Belarus who are fighting peacefully for democracy, freedom and human rights

We call upon everybody to sign the Petition on to demand the respect of fundamental human rights in Belarus.

We express our full solidarity with all people and organisations in Belarus who are suffering due to the tyranny of Europe’s last dictatorship. This Christmas and New Year’s holidays we will be thinking of all political prisoners and their families in Belarus. To all those who are engaged in the Belarusian civil society we can only say: we will not forget you, please do not give up, we will stand by you.

Lars Buenger, Chairman, Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights (Germany)

Philippe Adriaenssens, President, Young European Federalists (Europe)

Martin Uggla, Chairman, Östgruppen – Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (Sweden)

Marek Svoboda, Head of Human Rights Department, People in Need (Czech Republic)

Jan Ruml, President of Civic Belarus (Czech Republic)

Karl Hafen, Chairman, International Society for Human Rights (Germany)

Hans-Georg Wieck, Chairman, Assocation Human Rights in Belarus (Germany)

Jean Willemin, International coordinator, CODAP (Switzerland)

Belarus Watch (Lithuania)