The PES condemns political repression in Belarus, calls for EU sanctions on the ones responsible

12/08/2020

Opposition demonstrators in Belarus

A Belarusian law enforcement officer and a participant in a protest against the results of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election. Mass protests erupted in major cities across Belarus in the evening of 9 August. Minsk, Belarus, 11 August 2020. Photo by Natalia Fedosenko/Tass/ABACAPRESS.COM

The PES strongly condemns the violence and suppression of peaceful protesters and pro-democracy activists by the Lukashenko government in Belarus.

The PES stands by all those fighting for democracy, freedom and human rights in the country following Sunday’s rigged election. We join with EU High Representative Josep Borrell, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and others socialist and democrats in expressing our deep concerns about rising tensions in the country, and we support the Lithuanian Social Democrats, and others in the region, who are now calling for urgent action.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Last week’s presidential election was deeply flawed, and the results clearly do not represent the democratic will of the Belarusian people. The campaign was marred by suppression, threats and violence. The rule of law and democratic standards were violated time and time again.

“The brutal repression of peaceful protesters over the last few days has shocked the world. The EU must not ignore this authoritarianism on the doorstep of Europe. It is time to discuss imposing sanctions targeted on those responsible for the crackdown on democracy in Belarus.”

The PES has previously spoken out against the authoritarianism of the Belarusian regime and stands with all those fighting for democracy across the world.