Dutch youth organisations demand to release opposition leaders in Belarus
Eight youth organizations affiliated with various Dutch political parties have adopted a joint appeal to the Belarusian authorities, in which they express their concern with the political situation in Belarus.
The appeal is addressed to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the Belarusian Government. Its copy has been sent to Alena Hrytsenka, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to the Netherlands.
Here is the text of the appeal:
We are convinced that the presidential elections in Belarus, which took place on 19 December, were conducted in a tense atmosphere without the freedom of expression and without any fair electoral procedures.
Thus, we are deeply concerned with the news that a lot of opposition leaders had to face heavy pressure during the election campaign, that their health and lives were jeopardized, that they were beaten up, abducted and captured by the Belarusian Security Service. Hundreds of opposition politicians, journalists and activists were badly beaten and arrested during the mass rally on Independence Square in Minsk. At least 40 thousand demonstrators had gathered on the square to protest against the election fraud.
After the mocking court trials behind the closed door these demonstrators were thrown to jail or fined. According to various sources, the protesters on the square were infiltrated by provocateurs from the Security Service, who deliberately attacked the Government Headquarters to create a pretext for dispersing the rally and justify the brutality of riot police.
Taking into account multiple body injuries, arrests and abductions of the opposition leaders in Belarus, we would like to express our deep concern with the lack of democracy in Belarus and ask for immediate and unconditional release of the arrested opposition leaders, showing respect for the democratic norms and procedures.
PerspectieF, youth organisation of the ChristenUnie (Christian Union)
Jongeren Organisatie Vrijheid en Democratie, youth organisation of the VVD party (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy)
Jonge Democraten, affiliated with the Dutch social-liberal party D66
Christen-Democratische Jongeren Appèl, youth organisation of the Christian Democratic Appeal party
Youth organisation of the Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (the Reformed Political Party)
Rood, youth wing of the SP (Socialist Party)
Jonge Socialisten, youth wing of the Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party)
Dwars, youth organisation of the GroenLinks party (GreenLeft)