Human rights defenders’ appeal to President, Internal Ministry and KGB
Representatives of Belarus’ seven major human rights NGOs have released a joint statement, calling upon the Presidential Administration, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the KGB to cease accelerating the atmosphere of fear during the Presidential election campaign and to desist from the use of violence against peaceful protesters.
In their appeal, the human rights activists mentioned the recent statement by the head of Lukashenka’s administration Uladzimir Makei on the terrorist nature of expected protests against election rigging.
The NGOs call upon the executive authorities to secure the citizens’ right to peaceful protests, provided by the Belarusian Constitution and international treaties.
“We are confident that the authorities will have to closely analyze the reason for the extraordinary move by five presidential candidates and to immediately introduce fundamental changes to the Electoral Code in order to make the election procedures more democratic and transparent,” says the statement.
The appeal was signed by Ina Kulei (Committee for the Protection of the Repressed “Salidarnasts”), Hary Pahaniayla (Belarusian Helsinki Committee), Ales Bialiatski (Human Rights Center “Viasna”), Andrei Skurko (Belarusian PEN-Center), Raisa Mikhailouskaya (Human Rights Center), Barys Zvozskau (alumni of the International Human Rights Course) and Liudmila Hraznova (Human Rights Alliance).