Declaration of support in regards to recent developments in Belarus

News - 2020-08-14
Ahead of the extraordinary EU foreign ministers meeting over Belarus, Swedish civil society organisations are raising their voice to support the people in Belarus. The statement is directed to support the statement from the Nordic-Baltic foreign ministers and highlight the need for a free and fair election and a democratic society free from police violence towards peaceful protesters

The presidential election in Belarus, which took place on the 9th of August, have been far from democratic. This was an election where international observers neither from OSCE/ODIHR nor Russia were allowed to monitor. The opposition against the long-time leader of Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko, has never been as strong as in this election. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya entered in place of her jailed husband and went on to lead large opposition rallies. However, the Belarus state TV exit poll shows Mr. Lukashenko winning with 79.7 % of the votes.

The opposition had said it expected the vote to be rigged. Protests are happening in different cities of the country where the civil society shows their disappointment over the election process, unfortunately many of these protests have clashed with police and the situation is very violent and serious. There has been thousands of arrested, dozens of injured and few death cases among the protesters. The Ministry of internal affairs of Belarus has officially confirmed the death of one protester in Minsk on 11h of August. Outside of Minsk and in smaller cities, the situation has not been as intense but there are still many cases of violent interventions from the police.

Since the ministers of foreign affairs in EU will meet on Friday, the 14th of August, to discuss Belarus, the Nordic-Baltic foreign ministers have prepared a statement on the development in Belarus. The Swedish civil society has therefore prepared a statement to support the message from the Nordic-Baltic ministers and add some more sharp proposals to it in order for the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, to bring to the meeting with EU ministers. Swedish civil society shows a strong commitment towards the civil society in Belarus and wish to show that we support their fight for a democratic society and free elections.

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