Head of the delegation of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Member of Parliament from the ruling Servant of the People parliamentary faction Liza Yasko says she has initiated a statement on the current events in Belarus.
"I've initiated the Belarusian Declaration, a document where we assess the events in the neighboring country and offer a way out of the current situation," she said on Facebook, sharing the text of the document on her page.
Yasko noted that the statement had been supported by the majority of the members of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE. Also, she added, the document was signed by Chairperson of the Estonian delegation to PACE Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski, her counterparts Inese Lībiņa-Egnere of Latvia, Algirdas Butkevičius of Lithuania, and Roger Gale of Great Britain.
The signatories state that the campaign for the presidential elections in Belarus, voting on August 9 and the counting of votes do not meet international electoral standards, took place with massive violations of the rights and freedoms of citizens and do not show the free expression of the will of the Belarusian people.
The authors of the document condemn the use of violence against participants in peaceful meetings, call on the authorities to immediately release all detainees and will welcome an independent investigation into the misuse of force against protesters.
They also insist a peaceful dialogue between all parties to the electoral process should begin as soon as possible and they express their readiness to "facilitate the dialogue between the participants in the electoral process and provide a platform for such negotiations."
The Russian Federation has been warned against meddling in the internal affairs of Belarus.
Belarus protests in brief
- On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus.
- The country's Central Election Commission announced the final election results. In particular, 80.1% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 10.1% voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.67% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.2% for Andrey Dmitriev, and 1.14% for Sergei Cherechnya. Some 4.59% voted against all candidates.
- On the evening of August 9, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets to take part in spontaneous rallies, which was followed by clashes with law enforcement. The police in Minsk used water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades, and fired rubber bullets in a crackdown on protests.
- Belarus' Ministry of Internal Affairs announced about 3,000 protesters were detained on the night of August 10, more than 2,000 people on the night of August 11, and more than 1,000 on the third night of the protests in different towns and cities across the country.
- The ministry confirmed one of the protesters had died. As of today, there were reports about two deaths among protesters.
- The UN has condemned the violence and violation of human rights in Belarus, a number of countries have called on Minsk to stop the atrocities.
- Belarus' largest March of Freedom began across the country on August 16. In turn, the Belarusian authorities reportedly bussed workers of state-run enterprises and organizations to the center of Minsk to arrange a pro-government rally.