Since the fraudulent presidential elections of August 9th in Belarus, there have been no signs of Aliaksandr Lukashenka stepping down. An estimated 15,000 Belarusians have been detained since the beginning of this crisis, security forces have consistently used force against protestors, and there are continued reports of widespread torture and abuse in jails.
This past weekend, on October 18th, tens of thousands of citizens peacefully gathered and participated in pro-democracy rallies in Minsk and across Belarus. As of October 19th, 280 more people were unlawfully detained, of whom 237 people remain in detention. Meanwhile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is in forced exile in Lithuania, and the Coordination Council have renewed their call for Lukashenka to leave his post by October 25th or face a nationwide strike.
The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) stands with the peaceful and freedom-seeking people of Belarus in their transition to democracy and against the dictatorship of Lukashenka. We support their renewed call for Lukashenka to step down and the continued nonviolent assembly of Belarusians to reclaim their right to free and fair elections. Most importantly, we strongly condemn violence of any kind.
CEEC strongly urges the international community, including the United States to: support the call for Lukashenka to resign, continue to condemn the use of force against peaceful protestors by security forces, and call for the immediate release of those who have been wrongly imprisoned.
The world is watching.