EU marks International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus
Reuters
May 21, 2024

EU marks International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus


Today, the European Union marks the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus. 

Since the death of political prisoner and activist Vitold Ashurak in prison in May 2021, at least five more political prisoners have died in the regime’s places of captivity: Mikalai Klimovich, Ales Pushkin, Vadzim Khrasko, Ihar Lednik, and Aliaksandr Kulinich. “They were unjustly persecuted for their political opinions and beliefs, and failed to receive adequate medical attention and care,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in a statement.

According to Borrell, there are still nearly 1,400 political prisoners in Belarus. Hundreds have serious health issues, disabilities, are over the age of 60, and have mental disorders. “They are illegally detained, subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including deprivation of necessary medical assistance,” Borrell said.

The European Union also condemned the most recent wave of raids and property seizures of political activists who continue their pro-freedom activities in exile. More than a hundred persons have been added to the suspect list of the ongoing mass criminal investigation against Belarusians abroad.

On this day of solidarity, the EU demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, and calls on the authorities to comply with Belarus’ international human rights obligations, notably ensuring access to adequate health services without discrimination on the grounds of their situation.

Borrell also said the EU would continue to support all those who courageously stand up for an independent and democratic Belarus.

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