24 May 2018, Thursday, 11:10

Statkevich Made Speech In New York: Support Belarusians’ Struggle For Freedom!


The West must stop closing its eyes to the dictatorship in Belarus.

Belarusian National Congress Leader and Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Chairman Mikalai Statkevich addressed the Council of the Social Democratic International in New York.

Charter97.org made the transcript of the Politian’s speech:

– The UN Secretary-General said that, unfortunately, the alignment of forces in the world had changed, leading to a decrease in support for democracy, support for human rights. We feel this on ourselves in Belarus. European countries, frightened by the conflict in Ukraine, have moved to the preservation of the status quo. They do not want democracy in Belarus, they want balance and peace, so that there is no war and no refugees. We also do not want war and refugees, but we have the right to freedom. The Belarusians counted on international solidarity, but Western officials, unfortunately, have turned to the actual support of the Belarusian dictator.

The OSCE PA has taken place in Minsk recently. Usually this session is held in the countries that are an example of democracy. This time it was held in a country where about 1,100 people had been repressed for participation in peaceful protests in spring. We do not approve, but understand the motives of the neighboring countries’ governments. We see that they are losing their moral bearings, that they want to make profit and have "stability" in neighboring countries. But we cannot understand when Social-Democratic parties don’t keep their character. During the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session in Minsk, Lithuania introduced a resolution on repressions in Belarus, the resolution was blocked by the OSCE PA Vice-President, a Swedish Social Democrat. He said that the resolution did not reflect "the improvement of the situation" with human rights in Belarus. Where he had found these improvements – we do not know. He should know about how people were arrested and beaten in the streets of Minsk during peaceful protests.

He is certain to know what happened to our party leadership: the authorities started to arrest the potential leaders preventively. I tried to get to the biggest protest rally to head it. Belarusian security services broke into the BSDP (Hramada) leadership members’ apartments, the deputy chairman of the party was beaten, when the police was demanding to tell where I was. A young activist was tortured with electric shock, and then placed for two months in the KGB prison.

If these are improvements, then what do our Swedish colleagues understand as democracy? Unfortunately, the fraternal party did not react to such behavior in any way. I want to ask a public question: how do you feel about what happened in Belarus?

You know that the Social-Democratic movement in Europe is in crisis. The crisis results from the fact that our comrades have started to lose their moral bearings, they are budging from the slogan "Freedom. Justice. Solidarity". They care about their well-being and prosperity. Supporting injustice in neighboring countries, supporting lack of freedom in the neighboring countries, they will lose peace and prosperity in their own countries. Freedom is indivisible in the world. If there becomes less freedom in one country – then there becomes less freedom in the whole world. The forces of unfreedom are becoming stronger. Dear friends, I am sure that everyone who has gathered here will continue to fight for our ideals. I am sure that we will make the lives of people on our planet better. Thank you for your solidarity.