Statement of Belarusian Students’ Association (BSA)
On November 12, there was an attack on our members, as a result of which:
- 7 of our members had their apartments and dormitory rooms searched,
- 5 members were placed in the KGB pre-trial detention center as suspects in a criminal case (Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus); among them – 2 members of our Board,
- a dozen members were forced to leave the country due to the threat of criminal prosecution, including 2 members of the Board,
- our office was searched.
We consider these actions to be purposeful persecution of the illegitimate government of Belarus and an attempt to stop active students who assert their demands, participate in the socio-political life of the country and have a voice. It should be reminded that during the existence of the Association – since 1989 – the organization and its members have been repeatedly subjected to repressions and persecutions. For about 20 years, the BSA has existed without official registration, furthermore, by the summer of 2019 it was still under the threat of a criminal article “Actions on behalf of an unregistered organization”, but despite this, we continue to protect students’ rights, promote Belarusian language and culture, act to improve quality of higher education.
Now we are aware of the names of 5 members who are being held in the KGB and a dozen other students who are being prosecuted.
Based on the above, the Belarusian Students’ Association and the European Students’ Union:
- demand the immediate release of BSA activists and all other political prisoners, as well as the cessation of all criminal cases against NGO activists, journalists, bloggers, human rights activists, volunteers, observers and other participants of the last election campaign;
- call on the EHEA Ministers of Education to respond to the situation in Belarus at the upcoming Ministerial Conference;
- we call on the international and national civil society, youth organizations to show solidarity and express a position of support for Belarusian students.
Download the PDF version of this statement on this link.