Brussels, 27 August 2020
Statement by the Belarusian National Platform about recommendations on the situation in Belarus for the informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers
Ahead of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting, the Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF has released a statement suggesting several recommendations for international community with regard to the current situation in Belarus.
The statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum reaffirms their support and confidence in the Coordination Council initiated by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The Belarusian National Platform maintains that the only possible solution for the current political crisis is to engage in negotiations with the authorities. However, these negotiations can only take place between legitimate representatives of the protesters, namely the Coordination Council, and the Belarusian authorities.
Moreover, external mediation from either Russia, the EU or the OSCE would only further complicate the situation. Therefore, the Belarusian National Platform highlights the importance of receiving guarantees of non-interference in the internal affairs of Belarus. Still, a possible way in which the EU and Russia can offer their help is persuading Belarusian authorities to engage in a dialogue with the representatives of the protesters.
Furthermore, the statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF expresses the following priority needs of civil society:
- Political prisoners must be released immediately and the tortures and acts of street violence must be investigated with the inclusion of human rights defenders;
- The fees for healthcare and lawyers of arrested people should be covered and a clear visa procedure and humanitarian corridor should be established for people who need urgent evacuation or asylum in neighbouring countries due to repressions;
- The support for independent media should be increased and the hiring of professionals who were fired from state media should be encouraged;
- Various solidarity payments and scholarships should be considered for expelled students and sacked academicians. Also, education professionals who were fired should be supported in their professional reorientation;
- In terms of health, the victims of torture and street violence, as well as their relatives, must receive psychological and physical rehabilitation services;
- The initiatives and movements of volunteers should be supported by helping the coordinators of these initiatives who currently lack a regular income. In addition, assistance to public campaigns can consist of printing materials or promoting them on social media, and by supporting research of the current situation;
- Lastly, the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets should be postponed until the situation normalises