In a letter addressed to Maltese Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo, the National Youth Council (KNŻ) has called for urgent action concerning the ongoing political crisis in Belarus, including the release of detained protestors and jailed political prisoners.
This comes ahead of the EU informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers expected to be held on 27th-28th August.
The letter read that peaceful protesters, including many young people, have taken to the streets across Belarus over the recent presidential elections and have been faced with police brutality, repression of their freedom of expression and arbitrary detention.
In some instances, clashes between police and protesters have resulted in the death of peaceful protesters.
According to KNŻ, independent Belarusian and international organisations, including EU institutions, have condemned violence against civilians and stated that the elections were neither free nor fair.
To this end, the organisation has called on national governments and the EU to foster the momentum for democratic change in Belarus and implement coordinated action to:
- Immediately stop any violence, inhuman and degrading treatment, including torture, and release all detained protesters and jailed political prisoners.
- Call for a new election under the supervision of a new Electoral Commission trusted by all parties and support a plan that ensures the country’s peaceful democratic transition led by the people of Belarus.
- Continue monitoring the situation in Belarus and take action when necessary, including the reassessment of diplomatic, political, and economic relations with the current regime in Belarus, in accordance with EU values and human rights principles.
- Strengthen assistance to the people of Belarus, including providing support to democratic and independent civil society organisations in Belarus, and ensure protection and safety for activists and human rights defenders at risk of prosecution.
KNŻ has encouraged the public to support any action that will foster peace and democracy in the country to protect the people in Belarus.