Libereco calls for 'tougher measures' against Lukashenko regime
The German-Swiss human rights organisation Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights has released a statement calling on Europe’s governments to take tougher measures against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.
"It has become clear that the reactions so far are not enough to stop the state terror against the Belarusian people," the statement reads.
In recent weeks, the last critical voices have been eliminated. The regime has crushed the remaining remnants of independent media in Belarus and imprisoned dozens of media workers. The authorities also stormed the offices of numerous human rights organisations, searched private homes and arrested numerous human rights activists – including Ales Bialiatski, winner of the 2020 Alternative Nobel Prize.
More than 40,000 people have been arrested in Belarus in the past 12 months. At least 1,500 people are currently in prison for political reasons across the country, and well over 500 have already been recognised as political prisoners. Many of the prisoners were tortured, and all are subjected to severe psychological pressure.
In addition to the sanctions already imposed by numerous countries, Libereco calls on all democratic governments to take further punitive measures against the ruling regime in Belarus:
… the exclusion of Belarusian banks from the international payment system SWIFT
… a ban on trading in Belarusian government bonds
… the expulsion of all Belarusian ambassadors
… a recall of all foreign ambassadors from Belarus
… entry bans and sanctions against the Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei and all other members of the Belarusian government
… a ban on the red-green Belarusian flag, as it is a symbol of the terrorist Lukashenko regime.
… a ban on advertising by international companies in Belarusian state media.
“State murder, deaths in suspicious circumstances, suicide attempts and hunger strikes of political prisoners lasting several weeks – all this is taking place in the middle of Europe. The Belarusian regime is committing crimes against humanity and terrorising its own population before our very eyes. If we do not stop these monstrous crimes, we will be complicit! European states and the world community are urgently called upon to impose harsh punitive measures against the Belarusian terror regime – and also against Russia should it continue to support the criminal Lukashenko regime. Europe must stop the Belarusian terror regime,” demands Lars Bünger, President of Libereco Switzerland.
“Even the latest sanctions, introduced only after the plane hijacking, have not stopped the Belarusian dictator. On the contrary, the repression continues unabated and even intensifies. The past few days have shown that Lukashenko does not shy away from eliminating even the very last critics. Europe must not stand idly by while innocent people are locked up every day in its immediate neighbourhood. The cost of Lukashenko’s human rights violations must therefore be as high as possible for the regime without the civilian population suffering,” emphasises Marco Fieber, Chairman of Libereco in Germany.