Joint Statement by the EU Delegation on behalf of the EU Member States represented in Minsk, the British embassy, the Swiss embassy, and the U.S. embassy on the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus.
We condemn the increased use of violence and the violations of human and civil rights in Belarus since the fraudulent Presidential election of 9 August 2020. The number of arrests of peaceful protesters is nearing 30,000. The number of politically motivated criminal cases is reaching 900. The list of political prisoners continues to grow and has more than 100 names on it. There is no indication that the authorities are investigating the thousands of reports of police brutality filed since mid-August or the killings of protesters, including, most recently, Raman Bandarenka.
It appears that no professional or social group in Belarus has been spared by the Belarusian authorities’ unrelenting efforts to suppress dissent against election fraud, police brutality and politically motivated repression. Pressure on the medical, academic, and media communities has been especially harsh.
So far, the Belarusian authorities have responded to our joint diplomatic efforts with the expulsion and intimidation of our colleagues. We invite the authorities to re-visit our repeated requests for access to political prisoners and penitentiary facilities, so we could verify persisting reports of deplorable prison conditions and inhumane treatment of detainees and prisoners in Belarus.
Recalling earlier statements, we call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately stop indiscriminate violence against their own people and release all those unjustly detained. We strongly urge the authorities to observe and respect the Belarusian people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms. We will continue to be vocal and outspoken in our reaction to the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation. There can be no normalization with a regime that brutally represses its own people.
We stand ready to support and facilitate an inclusive national dialogue in Belarus in order to resolve the present crisis in a sustainable way, safeguarding Belarus’s sovereignty and independence as well as its safe, democratic and prosperous future.