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Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis calls for the immediate release of political prisoners in Belarus

Created: 2021.03.31 / Updated: 2021.03.31 10:24
    Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis calls for the immediate release of political prisoners in Belarus

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis urged Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners.

    “A wave of persecution, the imprisonment and intimidation of people, and mass violations of human rights currently taking place in Belarus are unprecedented in the 21st century Europe,” said Landsbergis, who joined the European Humanities University's campaign of solidarity with those who have suffered the Belarusian regime's repression. “Minsk must understand that the world sees its crimes. Lithuania and the international community will not stand aside,” said the Foreign Minister.

    On the eve of the Freedom Day of Belarus, the Vilnius-based Belarusian University in exile invited to show solidarity with the survivors or witnesses of police torture after arrests in Belarus, with those who had felt moral, physical, economic or other pressure, who had been isolated from their extended family members, as well as with all Belarusians who had fought peacefully for their rights.

    Lithuania's Foreign Minister launched a solidarity campaign calling for the release of a human rights defender and 3rd-year student of the European Humanities University’s International and European Union Studies Programme Maryia (Marfa) Rabkova, and other Belarusian political prisoners. Landsbergis also urged the Lithuanian society and the international community to join the social media campaign and to actively contribute photos and messages, demanding the release of political prisoners.

    “For more than half a year we have admired the courage and determination of our neighbours, who protected their fundamental freedoms, demanding a free and fair election. Unfortunately, Belarusian authorities reacted to the legitimate demand of their citizens with repression. I believe that both the people of Lithuania and the international community will never get tired of demanding the release of all political prisoners in Belarus. As Europeans, we have this moral duty and interest," said the Foreign Minister.

    Currently, 322 persons in Belarus have been recognised as political prisoners. After the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, 48 students and graduates of the European Humanities University were detained. Today, five of them are still imprisoned: Marfa Rabkova, Akihiro Gaevski-Hanada, Mikalai Dziadok, Wlodzimierz Malachowski, and Ihar Barysau.

    The European Humanities University's invitation to show solidarity with Belarusian prisoners: https://en.ehu.lt/news/freedom-day-solidarity/
     

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