We are watching with concern the events in Belarus, in particular the violent police crackdowns on peaceful demonstrations. The presidential election in Belarus has repeatedly not inspired confidence. The presidential candidates did not have equal access to the media, and two of them were even imprisoned before the election. European Union observers were not invited to the elections at all. According to a number of reports from members of election commissions, elections were rigged and ballots were manipulated. Most likely, Lukashenko did not actually win the election.
In these circumstances, it is natural and legitimate for the citizens of Belarus to publicly disagree with the elections and to request new elections under the supervision of international organizations. Police has been deployed against peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and used brutal violence in many cases.
Protesters, according to independent Belarusian sources, are at risk of being fired from employment and being further punished, many of whom have been arrested. In many places, strikes are taking place in support of demonstrators and support the demand for a new presidential election. We support these protest demands from Belarusian citizens. We consider the actions of the Belarusian authorities against public assemblies to be illegitimate and inadmissible.
For the Czech Helsinki Committee
Vice-Chairman of the Czech Helsinki Committee
Mgr. Lucie Rybová, CHC director; tel.: + (420) 602 646 940, e-mail: email@example.com.
The press release in PDF format can be downloaded here.