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”Stop violence and outrage in Belarus!
Statement by the heads of public organizations and creative unions of Belarus
Minsk, August 27, 2020

Dramatic and tragic events are taking place in our country, caused by the presidential election campaign. Numerous violations of the electoral legislation during the campaign and manipulations in the counting of votes do not allow considering these elections as valid. The actions of law enforcement agencies in suppressing just protests of civilians in terms of inhumanity and cruelty resemble the atrocities of Stalin’s executioners during the repressions of the 1930s and the fascist occupiers during the Second World War.

The official mass media have unleashed a campaign of hysteria, whipping up rumors about threats from outside and seizing the country, defaming those who insist on the authorities’ observance of law and justice, and advocate for the unity of the nation. As in Stalin’s times, ordinary people are being misled by attributing to the leaders of the protest crimes that they did not commit. Peaceful and legitimate protestors face pressure at work and prosecution. Administrative resources and budget funds are used to organize actions to justify falsified election results.

Alexander Lukashenko personally bears the main responsibility for the large-scale crisis that is growing in Belarus. To maintain his position, he went not only to abuse of power, but also raised weapon against his people. In order to stabilize the situation in the country, restore the rule of law and fulfill the people’s will, we demand from state bodies:

– Immediately use the existing legal way out of the political crisis, hold re-run presidential elections within the terms determined by the Constitution, with a new composition of election commissions of all levels, formed on a democratic basis;
– Initiate an investigation into violations of electoral legislation during the presidential election campaign, riots and killings during protests against falsified presidential elections;
– Provide a free platform in the state media for representatives of all points of view; organize a discussion of the situation in the country with the participation of representatives of all political forces;
– Conduct a round table on the situation in Belarus and ways out of the crisis with the participation of representatives of the authorities and the public, including the Coordination Council;

We sign this statement individually, as we believe that in this situation, everyone should express his or her civil position. In the near future, we intend to appeal to the members of our organizations with a request to support this Statement. We call on the leaders of all other public organizations and creative unions to join this appeal.

Svetlana Aleksievich, Chairman of the Belarusian Pen Center, Nobel Prize Laureate
Alena Anisim, Chairman of the Belarusian Language Society
Mikhail Antonenka, Deputy Chairman of the public organization ”Belarusian Society of Visually Impaired”
Aksana Biarnatskaya, head of the Center for Leisure for Adults and Children ”Eco Life”
Hanna Bulda, Chairman of the Local Cultural Educational Foundation “Shchorsy and Khrabtovichy”
Aleh Volchak, Chairman of the Human Rights Center ”Legal Assistance to the Population”
Yanina Hancharova, Chairman of the Republican public organization ”Belarusian Fashion Chamber”
Siarhey Dubavets, board member of the Belarusian Pen Center
Siarhey Drazdousky, chairman of the public organization ”Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”
Tatsiana Zyalko, Chairman of the Belarusian Republican Union of Pensioners “Our Generation”
Uladzimir Kolas, Chairman of the Civil Initiative ”Rada of the Belarusian Intelligentsia”
Ales Lozka, Chairman of the Belarusian School Society
Alena Makouskaya, Chairman of the Association of Belarusians of the World ”Batskaushchyna”
Maryja Martysievich, board member of the Belarusian Pen Center
Siarhey Matskevich, Chairman of the Working Group of the Assembly of Non-Governmental Organizations of Belarus
Siarhey Mikhalenka, Chairman of the Belarusian Public Association of Photographers
Maryja Mitskevich, chairman of the public organization ”Children’s Fund for Spiritual and Cultural Revival ”Sakavik ”
Tatsiana Nyadbaj, First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Pen Center
Ihar Agurtsou, coordinator of the Rule of Law Legal Initiative
Uladzimir Arlou, Member of the Board of the Belarusian Pen Center
Vasil Astrousky, Chairman of the Minsk Regional Public Organization ”Consumer Protection Society”
Harry Pahanyaila, Chairman of the Legal Commission of the Helsinki Committee
Barys Pyatrovich (Sachanka), Chairman of the Council of the public organization ”Union of Belarusian Writers”
Yuras Piskun, Chairman of the ”Pahonia” Society of the Belarusian Union of Artists
Ihar Rakhansky, board member of the Public Association ”Belarusian Committee of the International Council for Monuments and Historical Sites ”ICОMOS”
Ihar Rynkevich, co-chairman of the organizing committee of the All-Belarusian Congress for Independence
Tatsiana Sinitsa, founder of the Informational social and charitable institution for helping children with psychophysical disabilities and their family members ”FRIMOVA”
Volha Smalyanka, Director of the Center for Legal Transformation (Lawtrend)
Tadeusz Struzhetsky, Chairman of the Belarusian Cultural Foundation
Dzmitry Sursky, Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Designers
Henadz Fiadynich, Head of the Republican Trade Union of the Radio-Electronic Industry
Nina Shydlouskaya, Chairman of the Council of the Association of Belarusians of the World ”Batskaushchyna ”
Andrey Khadanovich, member of the board of the Belarusian Pen Center
Tatsiana Yavorskaya, Chairman of the Educational and Social Public Association ”Link”
Larysa Zhyhar, Chairperson of the Civil Initiative “Movement of Mothers 328”

The statement was adopted at a meeting of the Organizing Committee of the All-Belarusian Round Table on August 27, 2020.”