Minsk, 15 February 2022

EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform Appeal on the hunger strike of Uladzimir Matskevich

The Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF urges the international community to call for the implementation of the demands of philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich, who is on hunger strike in prison, and also to demand the Belarusian authorities to allow doctors and his lawyer to have their daily access to him in order to monitor his condition and not to let him die.

Matskevich’s demands:
– To change the current pre-trial restrictions to “recognizance not to leave”.
– To finish investigatory actions and to submit a case to the court.
– To assign a day for the trial.

The implementation of these demands is lawful, reasonable, and necessary. The responsibility for the life, necessary and qualified medical aid, and incarceration conditions of Matskevich lies on the pre-trial detention center management. The pre-trial detention center management is actually held as hostage in the situation when the Investigation Committee and Public Prosecution Office of the Republic of Belarus are in the state of inactivity, doing nothing to implement Matskevich’s demands and hushing up his hunger-strike. The daily admission of the lawyer and a qualified doctor, who is not from the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is needed under the conditions of the high public importance of this event.

We shall remind that the well-known philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich was detained on 4 August 2021. He was accused of the organization and preparation of actions that violently break public order (Part 1, Article 342, Criminal Code of Belarus). Uladzimir Matskevich declares that this prosecution is the prosecution for thoughtcrime. The investigation period of Matskevich’s case ended on 4 February, but his period under guard was prolonged. These circumstances compelled Uladzimir Matskevich to make an extreme step – he started his hunger-strike on 4 February, in order to achieve the implementation of his demands. Since February, 15th, if his demands are not met, he is going to start his dry hunger-strike that will soon have its irreversible consequences for his organism – up to his death. The example of Matskevich’s case demonstrates the wide-spread in Belarus practice of holding people accused on politically motivated grounds in detention as longer as possible without carrying out any investigatory actions. We consider it one of forms of pressure forcing people to refuse the implementation of their rights, their public and/or political activity.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Matskevich’s role in the becoming and development of Belarusian civil society, Belarusian philosophical thought and methodology. The philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Uladzimiravich Matskevich, the author of the formula «Think Belarus», the founder of the Humanitarian Techniques Agency, the first head of the Council of the International Consortium EuroBelarus, the founder of Flying University. Uladzimir Matskevich was one of the originators of the Belarusian National Platform and the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership. Many of his suggestions and ideas underlay the formation of the BNP and the work of the EaP CSF. Uladzimir Matskevich dedicated many of his books, lectures, and articles to the development of civil society in Belarus. It is possible to find them on the web-site of Flying University.

We also urge the international mass media and journalists to authentically cover the situation in a timely fashion. And we ask all non-indifferent citizens to sign the petition.

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Appeal of the EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform on the hunger strike of Uladzimir Matskevich, 15 February 2022