Statement of the civil campaign “European Belarus”

The sentence given to Alexander Otroshchenkov is nothing other than a sentence given to freedom of speech in Belarus.

Alexander Otroshchenkov fulfilled his professional and above all his civic duty. He could not have done otherwise; he had to be in the forefront at a particularly significant event for his country.

The absurd accusation and the sentence of the journalist and press secretary of Andrei Sannikov suggests the purposeful work of dictatorial power – to destroy independent journalism, civil and democratic society in Belarus. The war unleashed by the “last dictator in Europe” against his own people has not stopped. Terror, torture, searches and arrests have been occurring for more than 2 months. This indicates that the regime is intimidated by the growing dissent in Belarus. This fear will increase, especially in the light of recent events in the Arab world.

The Belarusian people will continue to assert their right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of conscience. In this our battle, we are counting on the world’s solidarity. Unfortunately the measures taken so far by the European Union and the United States do not work.

Therefore, the civil campaign “European Belarus” calls on Belarusian society to consolidate its democratic forces in the battle for the freedom and independence of the country.

It also calls upon the international world community, the journalistic societies and organizations to continue to increase pressure on the dictatorial regime to release the independent journalists and all political prisoners in Belarus.