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/
Statement on behalf of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
On September 28, Lithuania, together with the co-chairs of the United Nations Group of Friends for the Protection of Journalists, France and Greece, released the Joint Statement on the situation of journalists in Belarus. The Joint Statement was supported by more than fifty United Nations Member States, and the European Union.
On 14 August, Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius took part in an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council convened via a video conference to discuss the critical situation in Belarus and renewed tensions in the east of the Mediterranean.
The Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, in the context of the developments that are taking place in Belarus, express their grave concern about the violence against post-election demonstrations that have occurred in response to reports of widespread electoral fraud. We are very troubled by the reports of physical injuries inflicted on the demonstrators.
On 10 July, at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania, Ambassador Andrius Krivas took the floor in the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin.