Brussels, 27 May 2020
The socio-political situation in Belarus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Belarusian National Platform released a statement on the socio-political situation in Belarus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Important points include the lack of support from the state for businesses and the economy, the absence of mandatory social distancing measures, limitations of access to official information and the drafting of laws which could have negative effects on the workings of Civil Society Organisations.
The statement discusses how public authorities restrict the work of independent media and limit access to official information. In addition, this document also covers the pandemic’s negative influence on the Belarusian economy and the absence of support for businesses.
Attention is also drawn to the repressions against civil society in Belarus which started in May 2020. Reports of arbitrary arrests represent an alarming evolution of the situation. Moreover, there are accounts of students being politically persecuted on the grounds of calling for quarantine in schools. Simultaneously, the National Platform notes that currently some laws are being drafted which could be potentially harmful to the work of civil society organisations.
Another concern is the future launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant estimated to take place in July 2020. It could have adverse effects on the environment.
The Belarusian National Platform’s statement arrives at four conclusions about the situation in the country. Lastly, a plan of suggestions and recommendations is presented, which outlines the conditions that have to be fulfilled in order for the government to receive direct financial support. If these conditions fail to be met, support should be implemented through civil society or private sector structures.
Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF