The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy declared solidarity with the Belarusian people on Freedom Day.
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell called the Belarusian people a source of inspiration and declared support on behalf of the European Union. He said it in his statement on the occasion of Freedom Day, which is celebrated in the West as the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus.
According to him, this year it takes on a “particular significance” in the context of increasing domestic repressions, continued actions to undermine Belarus independence and sovereignty and collaboration with its illegal aggression against Ukraine.
“Since the manipulated presidential elections in August 2020, the human rights situation in Belarus has continued to drastically deteriorate. Tens of thousands of Belarusians have been arrested for protesting peacefully or just for expressing their opinion. Almost 1500 of them are now political prisoners. Hundreds of civil society organisations have been suppressed. The already very limited space for democratic activities has been further diminished by legislation that violates human rights standards and authorises abuses and violations of human rights. The UN has documented multiple cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The 22 March report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports on continued systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations in Belarus, some of which may further amount to crimes against humanity,” the EU representative said.
He recalled that there are de-facto prohibitions of opposition parties and political activism, massive censorship and strict ideological control.
“The impunity for the long list of human rights violations is absolute, with the justice system being instrumentalised against opposition figures, bloggers, journalists, human rights defenders, trade union activists and lawyers. The regime disregards not only the wishes of the vast majority of the population, but also Belarus’ own international obligations and is cementing its international isolation,” he stressed.
“Despite this long list of brutal repression by the Lukashenko regime, the Belarusian people continue to demonstrate exceptional courage in fighting for freedom and their fundamental rights. The Belarusian people are a source of inspiration for all of us, and have the full support of the European Union. We will continue to stand in solidarity and to support the Belarusian people who strive for a free, democratic and independent Belarus,” Mr Borrell assured.