One year after the Belarusian 2010 presidential elections, JEF-Europe and its national, regional and local sections still express their concerns about the lack of democratic legitimacy, due to undemocratic election processes, especially expressing their disagreement with the harassment of Belarusian civil society activists and the treatment of prisoners of conscience.
Imprisonment of the people because of their ideas is a breach of fundamental human rights. Persons whose imprisonment is based solely on their personal non-violent expression of beliefs are being robbed of their dignity. Such imprisonments must therefore immediately be eliminated.
Facing the current threats by the loss of freedom of speech, which has been, regarding the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, highly considered by the European bodies, we must avoid the constant breach of freedom of expression of any citizen living in non-democratic or democratic regimes.
“Since 2006 JEF-Europe has been raising awareness of the dictatorship in Belarus and demanding respect of human rights, particularly freedom of speech, assembly and association”, claims Pauline Gessant, President of JEF-Europe. “Unfortunately there are still political prisoners in Belarus, that were imprisoned during 2010s elections to oppress the opposition. Also prisoners such as Belarusian Human Rights Defender Ales Bialiatski who was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on 24 November 2011 in Minsk, still have to suffer from the oppressive regime.”, added Gessant.
That’s why JEF Europe will continue their fight for democracy in Belarus and uphold their annual street action in March. Additionally this year, reminding the prevailing Human Rights violations, in cooperation with Libereco, Young European Federalists (JEF) will organise pickets and street actions all over Europe to stand up for the respect of human rights in Belarus between 10th December 2011, the International Human Rights Day and 19th December 2011, the first anniversary of the Belarusian 2010 presidential elections, which ended in mass detentions and long term imprisonments of prisoners of conscience.