Declaration on Belarus

SI discusses development of social democracy in Russia, the CIS and the Caucasus in Moscow 19-20 May 2006

The Socialist International Committee for the CIS and the Caucasus, meeting in Moscow on 19-20 May, having discussed the situation in the Republic of Belarus following the March 19 elections which were held in conditions which our International has condemned as clearly unacceptable, reaffirms the solidarity of the Socialist International with the democratic opposition in Belarus.

Noting with great concern the continuing repression against political opponents and the independent media in Belarus, the Committee calls upon the government of Alexander Lukashenko to immediately desist from these actions, to stop the harassment and persecution of the country’s democratic political leaders, and to respect the civil rights and liberties of all the citizens of Belarus. The Committee reiterates the call of the Socialist International for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners who are being unjustly detained for exercising their democratic rights. Equally, all those whose employment has been terminated for political reasons, as well as those students who have been expelled from universities due to their political and civil activities, should be reinstated.

The SI Committee for the CIS and the Caucasus expresses its fervent hope that all the social democratic forces in Belarus will increase their efforts towards forming a single united common force of the democratic and progressive left, with the full support of our movement.

The Committee welcomes all measures taken so far by the international community in support of democracy and human rights for the people of Belarus and reiterates its call for further steps to be taken, until real changes are implemented by the Belarusian authorities.

The Socialist International will continue to closely follow the situation in Belarus, maintaining its strong stand in favour of free and fair elections and its support for the aspirations of the Belarusian people for democracy and political change.