Belarus: Condemnation of violence against peaceful protesters

published 31 August 2020 updated 2 September 2020

Education International’s European office, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), strongly denounces the violence used by the Belarussian authorities towards the peaceful protesters across the country.

Belarus has seen protests across the country since 9 August, following the Belarusian Central Election Commission’s announcement that President Alexander Lukashenko had been re-elected with 80 per cent of the vote.

Many governments – and the EU Summit meeting on 19 August – criticise the national elections as neither free nor fair.

Suppression of information

ETUCE has strongly denounced the violence used on peaceful protesters by the Belarussian authorities. “We condemn the suppression of the internet and media, detentions and intimidation of journalists in order to stop the flow of information about the situation in the country, and the prevention of public discussion and any collective response to the electoral fraud,” stated ETUCE. “We deplore the attacks on workers and their human right to suspend their work in protest.”

ETUCE has urged the Belarussian authorities to stop any violence, release all arrested and imprisoned protesters, and proceed against all the officials responsible for all forms of repression against peaceful demonstrators. It has also called for a launch of a new electoral process, under the supervision of the Election Commission, that can be trusted by all parties, including international observers.

Solidarity with education sector

“In these turbulent times and at the beginning of the new academic and school year, ETUCE expresses its firm solidarity with the teachers, school leaders and other education personnel as well as the students for a peaceful solution,” said Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director. “We wish the workers and people of Belarus strength and courage in their demands for change and a democratic society.”

Freedom of assembly

Education International urges the authorities of Belarus to refrain from any attempt to suppress the right to freedom of assembly and from threatening public education employees wishing to take part in protests denouncing the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms. Education International will continue to closely monitor developments in Belarus.