The Socialist International vigorously protests against the latest abduction by government security agents and detention of Mikalai Statkevich, leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party NH, an SI member party, ahead of the forthcoming May Day celebrations planned to take place in Minsk. Since his sudden disappearance yesterday, it has been reported that he has been secretly charged, and will be held for five days.
Recalling his violent abduction last month, and equally that of other members of the BSDP-NH, it is clear that these repeated acts of intimidation and violence by the regime will not deter the democratic opposition, or indeed any of the citizens of Belarus, from demanding their full rights and freedoms.
The holding of political prisoners anywhere in the world is a crime in face of which our International will never remain silent. Our global voice is united in calling for the immediate release of Mikalai Statkevich and all the political prisoners being held illegally in Belarus.