EU statement on the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on November 12
The European Union made a statement on the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus, November 12. In it, the countries expressed their solidarity with the will of the Belarusian people to live in a free and democratic country and condemned human rights violations in Belarus. The European Union once again confirmed its readiness to continue joint work with representatives of Belarusian democratic forces and civil society.
Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Republic of Moldova, Norway, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Montenegro also joined the statement.
The statement says:
- On the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus we reiterate our support to Belarus’ sovereignty and independence and we express our solidarity with the will of all Belarusians people to live in a free and democratic country. We call for free and fair elections in Belarus, to be conducted without interference, intimidation and fear of persecution in full conformity with international standards
- Our appeal is voiced especially in the context of the run-up to the parliamentary and presidential elections, which will take place in February 2024 and in 2025. We call on Belarus to fully respect freedom of association, including for political parties. All potential candidates should be able to compete.
- Three years have passed since the fraudulent presidential elections in Belarus. The EU strongly condemns artificially created migratory pressure on the EU border, the regime’s involvement in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its participation in spreading propaganda and disinformation. We also condemn any involvement and assistance in the illegal deportation of Ukranian children by Russia.
- We deplore that the human rights situation in Belarus is further deteriorating and persecutions are ongoing. Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed in Belarus, which may amount to crimes against humanity, according to the UN Human Right Commissioner’s report. The number of political prisoners is over 1,500 people, many of them subjected to torture, ill-treatment or held incommunicado.
- We condemn all acts of violence, physical or mental, towards civilians by the Lukashenka regime as well as the persecution of the national minority groups. We believe that the citizenship and rights of democratically minded citizens’ must be protected, including their right of residence. We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners, lawyers, human rights defenders, journalists and media workers e.g. Ales Bialiatski, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Viktar Babaryka, Maria Kolesnikova, Nastya Loika, Ihar and Darya Losik and Andrzej Poczobut.
- The EU also deplores that Belarus still applies the death penalty, which represents a violation of the inalienable right to life and the ultimate denial of human dignity.
- The EU remains committed to constant support for the Belarusian civil society and democratic forces. We welcome the Council of Europe continuous cooperation with their representatives. We believe the positive dynamics of this relationship will help to preserve the democratic aspirations in the Belarusian society. We encourage the Secretary General to maintain the Council of Europe’s active role in this regard.
- The EU supports the right of the Belarusian people to choose their own future, and will continue to speak with one voice in support of their democratic aspirations. We will continue to stand by the Belarusian people in these difficult times.
- The EU reaffirms its readiness to continue working together with the representatives of the Belarusian democratic forces and civil society, also within the framework of the recently established Consultative Group, and welcomes the continued work of the Contact Group on Belarus of the Council of Europe, as well as of the Belarusian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership.