Three Years of Political Terror in Belarus. Statement by the German-Belarusian Society

Statements of the GBS

Germany’s moral duty, taking into account the history and German-Belarusian relations, is to help Belarus on its path towards democracy and the rule of law

Three years ago, on August 9, 2020, “presidential elections” took place in Belarus, which, like all votes and elections held in the country since 1995, were not recognized as free and fair by Germany and the European Union.

The elections were followed by massive nationwide protests, with tens of thousands of Belarusians taking to the streets in their cities to protest against electoral fraud. These were the largest public protests in the history of Belarus.

The authorities’ response was an unprecedented wave of political terror. Thousands of peaceful demonstrators were arrested, beaten and tortured by the violent organs. Photos of abused Belarusian men and women shocked the world. There were demonstrators who were killed by the security forces.

Three years after these “elections,” several thousand people remain political prisoners in Belarus. New arrests and clearly unlawful convictions continue to occur. The regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka has banned the activities of almost all Belarusian civil society organizations active in the spirit of the rule of law. Tens of thousands of people were forced to leave Belarus and seek refuge abroad, including in Germany.

In 2022, Lukashenka’s regime became an accomplice to Russian military aggression against Ukraine. It allowed Russian troops to invade Ukraine from Belarusian territory and provided both political and organizational/logistical support to the Russian aggressors.

Europe and Germany cannot remain indifferent to what is happening in Belarus.

Germany’s moral duty, taking into account the history of German-Belarusian relations, is to help Belarus choose its own development path; In other words, as desired by the absolute majority of Belarusians, the path towards democracy and the rule of law – in the European sense.

The German-Belarusian society condemns the brutal and inhumane actions of the authoritarian regime of Lukashenka and calls for the release of all political prisoners and the holding of a fair, internationally observed new presidential election.

We call on the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany to promote democratic change in Belarus in every possible way through the support of civil society and maximum economic and political pressure on the Lukashenka regime.

We also call on the German authorities to provide maximum military and humanitarian support to Ukraine in today’s situation. The liberation of Belarus from the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenka directly depends on the outcome of the war in Ukraine. Ukraine’s victory over the Russian invasion will give Belarus a chance for liberation.