The European Council
Governments of the European Union Member States
International human rights organizations
All interested parties
We, the leaders and representatives of democratic political parties and organizations in Belarus,
- Welcoming the efforts made by European politicians as well as the EU member states to promote dialogue and value-oriented cooperation between Belarus and the European Union, against the backdrop of new threats by the Russian Federation against the sovereignty of the Eastern European States;
- Expressing gratitude for the support of the Belarusian civil society and solidarity with those who are exposed to political persecution in Belarus for their democratic beliefs;
Given the sharp deterioration in the human rights situation in Belarus, the large-scale arrests of leaders of opposition political forces (BCD, UCP, "Movement for Freedom"), participants in peaceful mass protests in the cities of Belarus against the socio-economic policy of the authorities and the decree number 3, which we believe violates the acting Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the actions of the Belarusian authorities to discredit its opponents and intimidation of the Belarusian society, we call on you to not to enter into agreements with Lukashenka's regime to hold inter-parliamentary and other events, any possible agreements until the moment when the situation normalises, the imprisoned political prisoners are released, the perpetrator guilty of assaulting at and beating of peaceful demonstrators get their punishment.
We are perplexed by the lack of adequate response from the international community to the violent actions of the Belarusian law enforcers, the signing between the leadership of the OSCE PA and Belarus of the agreement to hold a session of the OSCE PA in Minsk, new agreements with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the allocation of 2, 2 million euros by the European Union for the projects to development of Belarusian regions handled exclusively by local vertical ignoring the participation of civil society in Belarus. This comes at a time when the Belarusian authorities have launched large-scale repressions against the Belarusian opposition and participants of peaceful protests against the socio-economic policy of the authorities. In recent weeks, some 200 people across Belarus are serving administrative terms, or punished with fines for the use of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. In addition, the authorities have taken persecution of independent media to hide the criminal actions of the Belarusian security forces against the Belarusian society and the international community. At the same time the Belarusian government is using the state media to discredit the peaceful protests, intimidate and spread disinformation among the population, which only deepens the tension and split in the Belarusian society.
We consider the recent steps of the democratic countries of Europe, USA and Canada to deepen cooperation with the official Minsk as hasty and unfounded. We know that the representatives of opposition political parties were not invited to the meeting with the delegation of the OSCE PA, which has just visited Minsk, which, in our opinion, does not meet the principles of cooperation, which are based democratic values. Belarusian democratic forces continue their cooperation and are preparing for wide protests against the lawless actions of the authorities and the for the return of constitutional rights to the citizens, which will take place on March 25, 2017 during the celebration of the 99th anniversary of the founding of the Belarusian People's Republic - the Freedom Day. We, as citizens of Belarus, demand the Belarusian authorities to take urgent measures to improve the socio-economic and political situation in the country.
We sincerely hope that the European democratic community will act on the side of ordinary citizens of Belarus, will continue to support the struggle of the Belarusian civil society for freedom and democracy in our country, and at the further deterioration of the situation consider the return of the restrictions on cooperation with the official Minsk.
Deputy Chairwoman of the United Civil Party
Executive secretary of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party
First Deputy Chairwoman of the Movement "For Freedom"
Belarusian Social-Democrat Party “Hramada”