Extraordinary Council of BCD passes declaration
On 8 January, the Extraordinary Council of the Belarusian Christian Democracy held a meeting to discuss the events of 19 December 2010 and pass a declaration. This extraordinary meeting was caused by the fact that too many members and leaders of the BCD had been detained and arrested at the end of December 2010.
The participants of the meeting accepted the following declaration:
The presidential elections which took place on 19 December 2010 should not be considered legitimate. The authorities put a lot of pressure on the members of Vital Rymasheuski’s initiative group while they were collecting signatures for his nomination as a candidate for presidency. Numerous activists of the BCD were also persecuted during the presidential campaign. A lot of citizens were forced to vote before the election day. The elections were rigged on a large scale. There is much evidence that the ballots were not properly counted. All these facts allow us to state that these elections were neither fair nor transparent. This assertion is also confirmed by the authorities’ brutal inadequate reaction to the peaceful rally which took place in Minsk on the day of the elections.
There have been numerous searches and arrests all over the country since the 19 December, when the regime launched a rigorous crackdown on independent mass media, activists of political parties and non-governmental organizations. Moreover, the authorities instituted a criminal case against seven presidential candidates and their authorized representatives. Presidential candidate Vital Rymasheuski and head of his campaign headquarters Paval Sieviarynets were charged with organizing mass disturbances in the framework of this criminal case along with over 20 other people. Mr Sieviarynets and the majority of the accused opposition activists are being kept in the investigation-isolation prison of the KGB.
Therefore, we declare that our main activities will be aimed at closing the criminal cases instituted against the leaders of the BCD Vital Rymasheuski and Paval Sieviarynets as well as other political hostages of the regime. We will do everything possible to facilitate the release of all the political prisoners. We will also struggle for free elections. We declare the necessity of the most decisive actions aimed at releasing all the political prisoners.
The Belarusian Christian Democracy proclaims that despite the fact that its leaders have been arrested by the KGB, the party is continuing its energetic activities based upon Christian values. At this difficult time for our country the BCD has become even more united. We realize our responsibility before the Belarusian people and we will do everything depending on us to make Belarus free and democratic.
The hope for genuine changes in Belarus lies in our unity. The spirit of the peaceful rally on Independence Square reveals the spiritual strength of our people. Those deeds, which are not based on love, have no right to exist. The way to improving the political situation, the way to freedom and independence, the way to Belarus lies in love and respect for one another. The BCD has always promoted and supported the idea of non-violent struggle. The party condemns any calls for radical violent actions. We regard such calls as provocations and we shall do our best to counteract them.
We appeal to all the Belarusian democratic movements and parties as well as to the international community with a request to express even more solidarity and support for the political prisoners. We call you to put aside your political ambitions and old grievances and make a joint effort to facilitate the release of our leaders! Together we shall prevail!
Long live Belarus! May it live with God!