european students’ union

BM79: Resolution on pressure on Academia in Belarus

November 5, 2020

Since summer severe law and human rights’ violations have been taking place in Belarus. For the moment, there are at least 15 thousand cases of violent detentions during the street protests or shortly after. BSA and Student Initiative Group have recognised at least 200 of them as students. Additionally, at the beginning of autumn more than 13 thousand people went abroad, for comparison, in 2019 more than 4 thousand people left Belarus.

Academic community was oppressed by HEIs administration and the Ministry of Education which is expressed in numerous administrative penalties (remarks and reprimands for students, depreciation for teachers), ‘educational conversations’ ‘ with individuals and groups of students, deprivation of scholarships, expulsion of students and firing of teachers. 

The situation students in Belarus face testify to the enormous academic freedom violations and targeted pursuit of those people who have been demonstrating their position. Bearing in mind the above mentioned facts, Belarusian students’ association calls upon Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs to set free all the students who have been arrested, to stop prosecuting students in administrative and criminal matters, furthermore, the Ministry of Education to stop pressure on students and teachers within universities.

Thus we urge:

Bologna Follow-Up Group

  • to explicitly announce their position on inadmissibility of academic values and human rights violations from HEIs administration and Ministry of Education. 
  • to include the question of Belarusian neglect of academic freedom on the next Ministerial Summit and create an Advisory group on Belarus restoration with the aim of monitoring academic freedom violations and cases investigation. 

European HEIs and donor organisations:

  • to announce publicly the inviolability of academic freedom and respect to human rights as a cornerstone for cooperation with Belarus.
  • to reframe the cooperation with HEIs’ administrations and the Ministry of Education with a special stress on continuation of cooperation only when academic freedom is ensured. 

Proposed by: BSA


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