Stop the Pressure on CSOs in Belarus

Stop the Pressure on CSOs in Belarus

The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL, stands in solidarity with our member organisation in Belarus, the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities (ORPD), and other human rights organisations. As stated in the letter signed by a number of civil society organisations in the country, they are being targeted by the Department of Financial Investigations at the Committee of State Control, because of their activities supporting the rights of disabled people in Belarus. The Director of ORPD, Sergey Drozdovsky and lawyer Oleg Grablevsky, spent seven hours being interrogated by the Financial Investigations Department.

In the letter, which raises serious concerns about the situation of human rights defenders in the country, the undersigned organisations put forward the following demands:

– To stop the pressure on the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other civil society organisations, to stop ungrounded and excessive inspections and other forms of control on organisations’ activities and to stop using force during inspections.

– To stop all attempts to criminally prosecute Belarusian human rights defenders and civil society activists in connection with their legitimate activities to provide charitable and other aid to victims of human rights violations, including immediate release of Andrei Aliaksandarau, Leanid Sudalenka, Yulia Slutskaya and other CSO activists.

– To stop the practice of intimidation and harassment of citizens in connection with the receipt, distribution and use of charitable aid, both from sources inside Belarus and abroad, as well as to eliminate excessive regulatory restrictions in this area.

Immediately release all political prisoners, as well as citizens detained in connection with the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the post-election period and end political repression against the country’s citizens.

ENIL strongly supports these demands and will bring this situation to the attention of the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the international community. We stand together with our colleagues and friends in Belarus.

Read the full letter here.

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