Need for leadership in efforts to release political prisoners in Belarus
Human rights organisations from several countries, including Norwegian Helsinki Committee, address president Grybauskaite of Lithuania to take leadership in advocating for the release of political prisoners in Belarus.
Letter to the president of Lithuania
H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė,
President of the Republic of Lithuania
International civil society representatives, non-governmental organisations and foundations are deeply concerned with the repressions during and after the Presidential Election 2010 in Belarus.
We jointly address you to personally enter into communication with Alexander Lukashenko advocating the release of all political prisoners and cancellation of the criminal and administrative trials connected to the events of the 19th of December 2010.
The Belarusian authorities have detained over 700 people, almost 40 people were accused in the criminal case on mass riot, eleven more are suspects in similar cases. Several have already been sentenced to different terms in jail and scores have been given administrative fines. In addition, some of the accused are being kept in custody or under house arrest.
We also remind you that human rights organisations and advocates are constantly being intimidated and face difficulties in providing legal assistance to the oppressed people.
Your Excellency, as the President of Lithuania, a neighbour state with strong historic ties to the Belarusian people and the current chair of the OSCE, you are in a particularly strong position to advocate the urgent matter of political prisoners in Belarus. We express our hopes that you will take advantage of this position.
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Armenia
Belarus Watch, Lithuania
Belarusian Human Rights House, Lithuania
Eastern Europe Studies Centre, Lithuania
Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Norway
Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy, Denmark
Swedish International Liberal Centre, Sweden
Andrew Olson, Resident Country Director – Belarus, International Republican Institute, US
Marek Svoboda, Head of Human Rights Department, People in Need, Czech Republic
Maria Svensson, President, Culture Clinic, Sweden
Michael Mostyn, President, Canadian Committee for a Democratic Belarus, Canada
Pavol Demes, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Bratislava, Slovakia
Regina Čičinskaitė, philologist, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Stephan Malerius, Head of Country Office Belarus, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, Germany
Wojtek Borodzicz, Center for International Relations, Poland
Copy to: Darius Semaška,
Chief Adviser to the President