“This Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the 9 August 2020 fraudulent presidential elections that have stripped Belarusians of the opportunity to freely choose their own future,” says a declaration by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, on behalf of the EU. “On this day, we reiterate our steadfast support for their democratic aspirations and efforts to uphold the respect for fundamental human rights. We reiterate that Aleksandr Lukashenko lacks any democratic legitimacy,” says Borrell.
The EU recalls that since the start of the mass repression against the people of Belarus for peacefully striving for democratic rule, the number of political prisoners in Belarus has reached over 1200, and this figure is increasing day by day. The regime has called many democracy activists “terrorists”, subjecting them to disinformation, intimidation, and threatening them with the death penalty.
Now the Lukashenko regime, which supported Russian aggression against Ukraine, is also persecuting Belarusians for opposing the war.
The EU says it will not forget the victims of the Lukashenko regime, its past and present crimes and will continue to support the international efforts for Belarus, with a view of gathering and preserving evidence of human rights violations.
Borrell reminds us that the EU has already taken important steps to help the Belarusian people. For example, the EU has imposed sanctions in response to the ongoing repression, the breaches of international law and aviation rules, as confirmed by the ICAO Council, the instrumentalisation of migration and Lukashenko’s complicity in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Since August 2020, the EU has committed about €65 million in support to the victims of repression, civil society, independent media, women, youth and students, small businesses, health and culture in Belarus. The EU also stands ready to mobilise a €3 billion comprehensive plan of economic support once a democratic transition will have taken place in Belarus.
“For the European Union, Belarus and its courageous people are an important European neighbour,” concludes Borrell.
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