BM72: ESU condemns repressions on students and NGOs in Belarus
Activation of social-and-political life in the Republic of Belarus and frequent street protests connected with so-called “social parasite tax”, which requires citizens to pay the sum of €250 if they work less than half a year, triggered the wave of pressure and repressions in Belarusian educational establishments. These measures aim to prevent students from mass participation in the protests and to punish those noticed in the streets or those who publicly expressed their support of the protests.
During the last wave of protests in February-March, 2017 at least 19 students were arrested or penalized, 6 of them were expelled from their universities, and the total amount of money which the repressed students had to pay is equivalent to €1720. Pressure has been noticed and recorded in every 5th University of Belarus, 2 of which are the members of European University Association.
Despite the fact that Belarus is now the full member of EHEA, civil rights such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are systematically violated by the Belarusian government in general and HEI administration in particular. In last two months, the facts of violation have become much more frequent, which deserves international attention and response.
The European Students’ Union calls on Belarusian government and HEI administrations to stop any kind of repressions and limitations of all freedoms and restore all the expelled students. ESU calls upon European educational institutions, ministries of education and other stakeholders to pay their attention and exert their pressure on Belarusian government, HEI and institutions, responsible for repressions. ESU stands in solidarity with independent students` organizations and activists who stand for their rights and the rights of other citizens.