The Federation of Young Greens and Global Young Greens condemn the incredible violence applied by the Belarusian state in the demonstration in Minsk on Sunday. After preliminary results of presidential elections about 50 000 people joined the protest against election fraud. However demonstrators were brutally suppressed by police and Special Forces. A great number of participants were taken to hospitals with serious injuries. More than 600 people have been arrested. There are many journalists, political and cultural figures and 7 oppositional candidates among them. If convicted some detainees face up to 15 years in prison.
According to the Central Electoral Commission 79.7% of Belarusians gave their votes to the current president Lukashenko who has been in power since 1994. 90% of the population are claimed to have participated in the elections. According to OSCE (The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) reports, some positive changes in the pre-election process occurred. The candidates were allowed to announce election campaigns on national TV. There have even been organized uncensored debates for the candidates where 9 of 10 the candidates showed up except for Lukashenka. However, 85% of media has still been devoted to Lukashenka’s election campaign. That is why there can be no talk about free and democratic elections in the country.
OSCE commented that even if the election process was organized in quite a proper way some of the observers were restricted in their observation and didn’t have clear view of the process. Moreover OSCE condemns the violent way of the government to deal with the peaceful demonstration and called into question the government’s adherence to the fundamental principle of freedom of assembly. The head of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, expressed harsh criticism of the Belarusian authorities in connection with the beating and arrest of presidential candidates from the opposition by saying “This incident exposes the presidential election in the worst light.” One of the candidates Vladimir Neklyaev was heavily beaten by police and then disappeared from the hospital. Now he and the other candidates are being held by the KGB. During the protests and afterwards many opposition web-sites were blocked and some of the offices have been broken in to. On national TV Lukashenka accused opposition supporters of “banditry”.
There have been a great number of young people participating in demonstration and struggling for a better future for their country. Now many of them are detained and can be sentenced to a long term. Young Greens are deeply concerned about the situation in Belarus and appeal to the Belarusian Government and law enforcement agencies to:
– condemn terrible violence against the citizens
– conduct a fair investigation of detention cases and immediately release unjustly detained people
– recognize the elections undemocratic and not transparent
– hold new elections according to OSCE standards