Joint Statement on the use of violence and repression in Belarus

Joint Statement by the Missions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the European Union on behalf of the EU Member States represented in Minsk on the use of violence and repression in Belarus

Minsk, 28/08/2020

Recalling our earlier comments and statements, we stand in solidarity with the people of Belarus who demand respect for fundamental freedoms and basic human rights through free and fair elections. We are struck by the continued peaceful demonstrations across Belarus. They show the determination and courage of the Belarusian people to seek democratic change.

Since the elections, we have witnessed the brutal and disproportionate use of force by the law enforcement authorities against peaceful protesters and ordinary citizens. We have seen evidence of numerous injuries stemming from such use of force. We have been made aware of countless incidents of abuse and humiliation of detainees. We stand in solidarity with all the victims of violence and abuse. We join the families of the victims in their sorrow. It is with grief and in disbelief that we have witnessed the loss of life, the suffering, and violations of human dignity and justice in Belarus.

We condemn the disproportionate use of force and urge the Belarusian authorities to stop the violence and the threats to use military force against the country’s own citizens and release immediately and unconditionally all those unlawfully detained. Intimidation and prosecution based on political grounds need to stop. We call on the Belarusian authorities to respect the country’s international obligations on fundamental democratic and human rights. We expect a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged crimes and abuses in order to hold those responsible to account. Only this will pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the crisis based on an inclusive national dialogue.