Transparency International is horrified by the violent attacks, arbitrary arrests and brutal repression unleashed by the Government of Alexander Lukashenko against peaceful protesters in Belarus.
TI calls on the international community to come together in this critical moment and step up support to the people of Belarus through all diplomatic and political means available.
“Individual sanctions in the form of asset freezes and travel bans against those perpetrating or aiding violence have the potential to hurt the authoritarian regime at the highest level and encourage them to listen to the clear demands of the people,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.
Protests broke out in Minsk and other cities after Alexander Lukashenko, president for 26 years, claimed victory by a landslide over his opponent Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in elections mired in allegations of vote rigging and widely dismissed for not being free or fair.
“Alexander Lukashenko was elected by the people of Belarus in 1994 on an anti-corruption platform. He has betrayed his mandate and the trust of his people on many occasions during his 26 years as president. We are out in the streets – everybody who has courage and strength – to show that we will not stand another stolen election. Government has responded by unleashing riot police, mass detentions and violence, suppressing protesters rights and freedoms,” said Oksana Drebezova, Transparency International’s national contact in Belarus.
Two people have died. Since Sunday, 6,700 people – including journalists – have been detained, some of whom have now been released. Shocking reports of torture, beatings, threats of rape and humiliation of detainees have been emerging.
The unprecedented brutality that the government has committed against its own people must cease immediately.
Transparency International has condemned the violence against peaceful protesters in Belarus and called on the government to enter into dialogue with the opposition on a peaceful way forward for the country.
“Elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair. Rather than committing acts of violence against its citizens, including the arrests of journalists and activists, the government should enter into dialogue to solve this crisis. Once the crisis is over, Lukashenko and his regime must answer for the acts of violence and gross breaches of universal human rights in European and international courts,” added Delia Ferreira Rubio.