SAMOK’s updates: Statement on the human rights violations in Belarus
In the beginning of this month, thousands of Belarusian students took to the streets to demonstrate against ‘re-elected’ authoritarian Alexander Lukashenko. Students, among other demonstrators, have called for resignation of Lukashenko and holding of new presidential elections in Belarus. Approximately 100 students, who participated in peaceful protests, were detained by the riot police. Students were shoved into vans with use of force, and according to human rights organization Vjasna, many of them were beaten.
These events in Belarus are a serious violation of human rights. International organizations, such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe, have condemned the violence and called for the immediate release of all detained civilians. The EU has stated its intention to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for violence, the repression of peaceful protests and the falsification of election results, but has not yet taken any action.
SAMOK stands in solidarity with Belarusian students and youth, the Belarusian Students’ Association (BSA), and the Brotherhood of Organizers of Student Self-Government (BOSS). We demand immediate actions as a result of the next EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting.
- the EU to support Belarusian civil society and peaceful democratic development in Belarus and call for new presidential elections under the supervision of international observers.
- the EU to impose sanctions and travel bans on Alexander Lukashenko and individuals responsible for violence and electoral corruption on a fast schedule.
- democratic governments and human rights organizations to give strong support for Belarusian civil society in reporting and documenting the crimes.
- the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) to use all the international pressure on the Ministry of the Education in Belarus in order to ensure the rights of Belarusian students are protected.
- individuals responsible for the violations of human rights to be brought to justice.
- the EU to address the financial underpinnings of the Lukashenko regime, such as stopping any direct transfers of funding under the Eastern Partnership and other programs to state and government institutions.
Read statements of the European Students’ Union on the situation: