Assembly of Pro-democratic NGOs voices support to the Polish minority
The leadership of the Assembly of NGOs issued an official statement to condemn the unlawful actions of the Belarusian authorities towards members of the Union of Poles in Belarus not recognized by them.
Statement of the Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs
concerning persecution of Polish national minority in Belarus
15 February 2010
The administration of the Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs expresses its solidarity with citizens of the Polish national minority in their struggle for realization of freedom of association.
We consider as unacceptable any attempts of the state authorities to create a governed pseudo-civil society, including by means of the ‘government ownership’ of the structures of the Union of Poles in Belarus. Such cases as the forced seizure of the Polish House in Ivianets represent are a manifestation of the rude interference of the state in the affairs of a civil association and are especially revolting. We consider such actions as inadmissible and violating by the Republic of Belarus of its undertakings within the limits of Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 5 of the Convention on ensuring of the rights of the persons belonging to national minorities.
We are especially alarmed by the fact hat the forced actions against the Polish minority take place against the background of intensification of the relations between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union, and also in the run-up of the election campaigns 2010-2011. The present situation reminds of the assault on the Union of Poles in Belarus in 2005-2006, before the last presidential elections. In such circumstances we consider the events in Ivianets as a provocation, aimed at disrupting the Belarusian-European dialogue and returning the country to the regime of constant strengthening of repressions. These actions not only inflict an irretrievable harm to the national civil society, but also present a danger to the national interests of our country.
We call the Belarusian authorities to immediately stop the crackdown on organizations of the Polish minority and create conditions for resolution of the conflict by securing the civil right of Belarusian citizens to freedom of association.