Belarus: Joint Statement

Belarus: Joint Statement by the EU Delegation on behalf of the EU Member States represented in Minsk and the Embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland on the harassment of rights defenders, journalists, and trade union activists


Minsk, 17/02/2021

The Belarusian authorities continue their increased harassment of the country’s civil society. This needs to stop. The authorities are targeting human rights defenders, media workers, trade union representatives, and defence lawyers. Yesterday, the homes and offices of at least thirty activists, including those of Human Rights Group Viasna and the Belarusian Association of Journalists, across the country were searched. This is not acceptable. Belarusians have been persecuted for exercising their fundamental rights as they protested peacefully against the August 2020 elections, which were neither free nor fair, and continued law-enforcement brutality. Hundreds of politically motivated trials have taken place. Belarusians have been denied the most basic rights, including the right to fair trial and the right to humane treatment in custody.

We will continue to coordinate our measures addressing the human rights situation in the country. We urge the Belarusian authorities to release all the arbitrarily detained persons immediately and unconditionally. Only democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and free and fair elections  respecting  the democratic will of the people of Belarus can guarantee a stable, sovereign, and prosperous future of Belarus.