Tsikhanouskaya’s appeal to political prisoners; European politicians are outraged by what is happening in Belarus; Belarusians burned effigies depicting Lukashenko during farewell to winter celebrations
14 March 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya asks political prisoners to end their hunger strike
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on political prisoners Ihar Losik, Ihar Bantser and Dzmitry Furmanau to end the hunger strike, which they announced in protest of the criminal charges brought against them: “You are now risking your lives by turning to hunger strike as an expression of your protest. But we, Belarusians, are not ready to risk you. Belarus needs you.”
Tsikhanouskaya also said that her team continues to work to ensure that the UN Special Rapporteur for Belarus Anaïs Marin is allowed entry to Belarus: “This week I have met with the EU and UN delegations and asked to impose financial and visa sanctions on judges, prosecutors and prison officials who do not fulfill your requests. It’s their obligation to allow representatives of diplomatic missions and ambassadors to visit prisons.”
The US congressmen expressed concern about the new charges against Ihar Losik, condemned the pressure on the press in Belarus and called on the country’s authorities to immediately release all political prisoners.
Diplomatic scandal between Belarus and Poland: European politicians are outraged by what is happening in Belarus
The Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Wendy Morton called the actions of official Minsk cowardly because of the expulsion of the Polish consuls from Belarus.
“The UK 🇬🇧 stands in solidarity with Poland 🇵🇱 after the unjustified expulsion of three Polish diplomats from Belarus. Yet another cowardly attack on those simply doing their jobs. Our countries are united in our support for the Belarusian people. Razem dla Bialorusi!” Morton posted on Twitter.
By now, the Foreign Ministry of Belarus has already suggested that three Polish diplomats leave Belarus.
The Prime Ministers of the Baltic states, with the participation of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, also discussed the situation in Belarus. According to the politicians, it is necessary to support Belarusian people by putting ideas into action and keeping this priority on the EU agenda.
The Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė also stated that her country is not satisfied with the implementation of the recommendations based on the results of the stress tests on the Belarusian nuclear power plant. She mentioned the conclusions of the European Commission on the non-admission of energy generated at unsafe power plants to the EU market.
Belarusians burned effigies of Lukashenko during farewell to winter celebrations
Saying goodbye to the cold winter, Belarusians of Minsk, Babruisk, Navapolatsk, Homel, Moscow and Lodz burned effigies depicting Lukashenko as personification of the hardships and problems that had accumulated over the year.
Residents of Senitsa, Zhodzina, Salihorsk, Barauliany, Hrodna held rallies of solidarity with political prisoners, whose number is growing every day.
Belarusians of Wroclaw held a solidarity rally in support of the political prisoners who went on a hunger strike: Ihar Losik, Ihar Bantser and Dzmitry Furmanau. Right in the downtown, they laid out the word “truth” made of empty plates on the pavement.
Solidarity actions were held in Annecy, Berlin, Warsaw, Gdansk, Lviv, Oslo, St. Petersburg.
Activists of the South Florida section of the Belarusian-American association picketed the Citibank office in Miami. The investment bank and financial services corporation Citigroup agreed to be one of the coordinators of the sale of $1.25 billion worth of Belarusian government bonds in June 2020. The London office of Citi is the chief financial manager of the project.
BBC: Maria Kalesnikava is a symbol of Belarusian protest
The BBC released a story on how Maria Kalesnikava became a symbol of freedom in Belarus and remains as such while in prison.
Maria Kalesnikava was the presidential campaign manager for the team of Viktar Babaryka, an ex-presidential candidate in 2020 Belarus elections. She is the only leader of the Belarusian opposition who refused to leave Belarus and ended up in prison. She faces up to 12 years in prison.
On the night of 7–8 September 2020, Maria Kalesnikava tore her passport at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in order not to be able to leave Belarus. She was detained on suspicion of calling for actions that threaten national security. She has been in the pre-trial detention centre for six months now, new criminal cases are being opened against her. A conspiracy to seize power and creation of an extremist group are among the criminal charges brought against Maria.
In Europe, she was awarded prizes for her contribution to the struggle for human rights. In Belarus, the state apparatus is fighting against Maria herself: her lawyers are stripped of licenses, she does not receive letters from her family and loved ones.
Maria’s associates Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Veronika Tsepkalo spoke on how they continue to fight for the freedom of Maria and all political prisoners in Belarus.