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Statement: EU must support human rights and democracy in Belarus

Together with other European democracy organisations, Demo Finland calls on the EU member states and institutions to support human rights, justice and accountability in Belarus. The 9 August presidential elections in Belarus were not free and fair, and serious human rights violations have been committed by the state before the elections and during the protests opposing the official election result.

We call on EU Member States and EU institutions to:

  • Support democratic processes in the country, in particular to the Belarusian-led transition coordination council;
  • Condemn the widespread abuses and human rights violations in Belarus and support processes for ensuring accountability for these violations, including through the immediate establishment of a UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry and the OSCE Moscow Mechanism into abuses in the context of the 9 August election;
  • Call for the release and rehabilitation of all those detained for exercise of their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and other human rights, including opposition members, human rights defenders, journalists, and political prisoners who have been detained before or during the election campaign, and provide access to prisoners for their families and lawyers;
  • Call for free and fair elections in Belarus in accordance with international standards and with the presence of international observers;
  • Effectively apply targeted sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes to those individuals responsible for fraud in the 9 August election and the repression which followed;
  • Offer protection for those individuals facing persecution through the provision of free Schengen visas and/or temporary humanitarian visas;
  • Provide flexible and speedy funding to Belarusian civil society, including through the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).

Read the full statement and see the signatories here.

Photo: Максим Шикунец / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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