Campaign to Defend Academic Rights in Belarus
The conference titled “Teaching repressions a lesson: academic freedoms in Belarus” was co-organized with the Human Rights Center Viasna. During the event, student activists and human rights defenders discussed possible ways to stop repressions practices by universities’ administrations.
Former students Jury Lukaševič and Chryścijan Šynkievič, who have been expelled after protests in March this year, shared their opinions on why they decided to sue their university administration.
“We think that in a country neighboring to the EU such status quo is inadmissible. All these expulsions, and generally how students are treated at some Belarusian universities, contradict to human rights and values of the Bologna process,” remarked Libereco representative Rainer Bobon.
Within the campaign for academic rights, a petition to foreign partners was launched, calling to cease joint projects with those universities that expel students for their public activities, as well as with the organizations linked to expulsion and persecution of students (for example, Belarus Youth Republican Union and Belaya Rus’).
“We consider that new programs should include cooperation directly with students, representatives of the academic community, without the control of the administration,” remarked Viasna representative Zmicier Salaŭyoŭ.
Currently, the petition has been signed by the Swedish human rights organization Östgruppen, the Human Rights Center Viasna, the Belarusian Students Association (BSA), the Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, Foundation of Regional Initiatives (Ukraine), Youth of BNF, Young Democrats, a representative of the Independent Bologna Committee Uladzimir Dunayeŭ, also the petition is awaiting the support of the Warsaw Helsinki Foundation (Poland) and the Ukrainian Students Association. See the petition here.