Statement by the Socialist International on Mikalai Statkevich and Siarhei Sparysh.
Statement by the Socialist International on the leader of the Narodnaya Hramada party, Mikalai Statkevich, and General Secretary Siarhei Sparysh:
- The Socialist International is particularly concerned about the situation faced by members of the leadership of its party in Belarus, Narodnaya Hramada, including party Chairman Mikalai Statkevich and General Secretary Siarhei Sparysh.
Three-quarters of the party's presidium was forced to leave the country as a result of persecution by the regime. Members of Narodnaya Hramada and other opposition politicians were arrested and imprisoned for their political beliefs. They have been falsely charged, held in inhuman conditions, and their human rights are violated on a daily basis.
For many years, Lukashenka persecuted Mikalai Statkevich because he was in opposition to the regime. In 2010, he was arrested as a presidential candidate and spent 5 years in prison. On May 31, 2020, before the last presidential election, he was arrested again. He was never allowed to meet with his family. The trial will likely be held behind closed doors.
On May 6, 2021, Siarhei Sparysh was sentenced to six years in a strict regime colony on charges of using a Telegram messaging channel, to which he had nothing to do. He is also falsely accused of organizing riots and obstructing the work of the election commission.
The Socialist International repeats its call for the immediate release of Mikalai Statkevich, Siarhei Sparysh, and all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Belarus and calls on the international community and its affiliated parties to increase pressure on the Belarusian authorities.
The only acceptable result in Belarus is for the will of the people to be heard and for free and fair elections to be held with independent monitoring of the voting. State-supported perpetrators of violence and human rights violations must be brought to justice.
We express our unwavering solidarity with Narodnaya Hramada, its members, the Belarusian opposition, and all those citizens of Belarus who continue to courageously resist the dictatorial and authoritarian regime.