The European Union strongly condemns the repression carried out by the Belarusian authorities since the falsified elections of August 2020. The unacceptable harassment of human rights defenders, media workers, trade union representatives, and defence lawyers has escalated in recent days, says a statement issued by the European External Action Service on 19 February, after two BelSat journalists, Daria Chultsova and Katsiaryna Andreyeva, were both sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on groundless charges.
“Such verdicts aim to intimidate and silence journalists and media workers, who are simply doing their jobs, as well as aim to prevent factual information from reaching the Belarusian people and beyond,” the statement said.
The European Union also recalled that diplomats must be allowed to work without intimidation and derogatory treatment and disinformation on the part of state-run media, which has happened in the past days.
The European Union urged the Belarusian authorities to cease their violations of human rights, fundamental freedoms, including press freedom and abuse of the rule of law: “Rather than escalating the use of violence, the Belarusian authorities should respect the wishes of its citizens and engage in an inclusive national dialogue.”
On 21 February, the European Union Delegation to Belarus marked International Mother Language Day with a special action. The Delegation asked the diplomats of the EU member states, the UK, Switzerland, the USA and Japan to choose those Belarusian words that they liked the most, to which their hearts responded the most these days. The words ‘freedom’, ‘hope’ and ‘will’ were among the most popular choices.
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