Statement of Presidium of the political council of the United Democratic Forces
The authorities started using the 4 July blast in Minsk for lynching the political opposition, instead of searching the real criminals. As of 11 July 2008, 16 persons were arrested. The majority of them are activists and members of different democratic political parties, public initiatives and electoral headquarters of the candidates of the United Democratic Forces. Youth activists are terrorized and detained for protest against repressions. The atmosphere of unpunished lawlessness predominates in the country during the electoral campaign.
Pitifully enough, the unreasonable statements of certain European politicians about the ‘softening’ of the political regime in Belarus and the hopes to transfer the relations with the official Minsk to the financial basis gave the authorities the reasons to hope for automatic recognition of the future electoral campaign as corresponding to the international standards.
The UDC Presidium states that no free and fair electoral campaign is possible in the conditions of massive repressions under the guise of investigation of the events of 4 July. We demand the immediate release of the innocent people and cessation of repressions. We draw the attention of the Belarusian and international community to the complete incompatibility of the statements of A.Lukashenka about the wish to hold transparent and fair elections and the atmosphere of fear and cynicism and fear which has been established in the country.
We address Prosecutor General of Belarus with the demand of an urgent meeting with the leaders of democratic parties with the aim of stopping political repressions.
We urge BDIHR OSCE to consider the possibility of refusal from sending international observers to Belarus in the case democratic activists are not released and the repressions are not stopped in the most near future.
If the repressions continue, the UDF consider the possibility to change the format of their participation in the electoral campaign.