Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue - Joint Statement on the Presidential Elections in Belarus
Members of the European Parliament and the US Congress express their concern about the conduct of the August 9 presidential elections in Belarus and call for concrete actions.
TRANSATLANTIC LEGISLATORS’ DIALOGUE
Brussels & Washington, DC - 24 August 2020
We jointly express our concern about the conduct of the 9 August presidential elections in Belarus, which were neither free nor fair.
We have closely followed the developments leading to the presidential elections. During the electoral campaign, the people of Belarus demonstrated their strong desire for democratic change.
We jointly condemn the fact that state authorities deployed disproportionate and unacceptable violence against peaceful protestors, democratic activists, and journalists. Thousands of people were detained and the crackdown on freedoms of assembly, media and expression, including access to the internet, was intensified. We call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all persons detained and to put a halt to the current crackdown. Belarus’ sovereignty and independence can only be strengthened if its government fully embraces the democratic principles that its people have flooded into the streets to demand and uphold.
Furthermore, credible reports from domestic observers show that the electoral process did not meet the international standards expected of an OSCE participating State. Severe restrictions on ballot access for candidates, prohibition of local independent observers at polling stations, the employment of intimidation tactics against opposition candidates, and the detentions of peaceful protesters and journalists marred the process. We call for new and free elections in Belarus under the supervision of foreign independent observers.
We jointly call on taking concrete measures against those responsible for the reported violence, unjustified arrests and rampant falsification of election results, as well as the grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In accordance with our shared fundamental values, the European Union and the United States must continue to support the Belarusian civil society including through financial means, acknowledging its unprecedented mobilisation, determination and appetite for democratic reforms.
MEP Radek Sikorski
Rep. Jim Costa
MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri
MEP Nicolae Ștefănuță