Subcommittee on International Human Rights
131 Queen Street
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Dear Members of the Subcommittee.
The Belarusian Canadian Alliance voices its strong condemnation of a wave of recent violence that Lukashenka’s regime used against the opposition candidates and their supporters following Sunday’s presidential elections in Belarus.
We are supportive of the concerns raised in the timely Statement of the Honourable Laurence Cannon about the election-day violence in Belarus.
As members of the Committee probably know, hundreds of peaceful protesters were brutally beaten, forcefully detained and are currently expecting trial in prisons in Belarus. Among those imprisoned are former presidential candidates Andrei Sannikov, Uladzimir Nekliayev, Vital Rymashevki and Mikola Statkevich. Uladzimir Nekliayev, as some of you may remember, visited Canada earlier this year and had a chance to speak to Canadian parliamentarians.
The autocratic government of Belarus should be held entirely responsible for these deplorable actions against the civil society. Blackmail, assault, arrests of civil activists under false pretexts are among the means that “Europe’s last dictator” has been using to remain in power. These culminated in the unprecedented violence towards civilians on the elections day.
The Belarusian Canadian Alliance is urging the Members of the Committee and the Government of Canada to use everything in their powers to free the imprisoned politicians and their supporters in Belarus. The Belarusian Canadian Alliance, in its turn, will provide any possible support to both the Committee and its individual members to achieve this end.
One of the steps that we think may be helpful is a formation of a group of parliamentarians who would express interest in working and promoting Belarusian issue on a Parliamentary level.
We would like to stress that current support of wider international community is absolutely vital for those who fight against the dictator and strive to bring a democratic change to Belarus.
Board of Directors