Courage of Belarusian Democratic Opposition Recognised by EU’s Sakharov Prize

22/10/2020
Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) salutes the European Parliament’s granting the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Belarus’ democratic opposition to President Alexander Lukashenka, led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

FIDH stands in solidarity and expresses its support to these courageous women and men, represented by the Coordination Council – Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Svetlana Alexievich, Maryia Kalesnikava, Volha Kavalkova, Veranika Tsapkala – and by civil society figures Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Ales Bialiatski, Siarhei Dyleuski, Stsiapan Putsila and Mikola Statkevich.

« This is a huge victory for Belarusian human rights defenders, as well as for the women and men who, risking their own lives, braved the risk of arbitrary detention, disappearance, torture and assassination, to demand that rule of law and freedoms be established in their country. »

Alice Mogwe, FIDH president.

On 1 October, the European Union condemned the unacceptable violence deployed by Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters and sanctioned the following day 40 individuals identified as responsible for acts of repression and intimidation.

Since the start of the uprising, FIDH has supported Viasna, its member organisation in Belarus, which documents the situation, aiming to mobilise the international community, including the European Union in Brussels, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Warsaw, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, and UN Security Council in New York.

Today, Europe’s highest human rights distinction recognises Belarusian civil society for its peaceful mobilisation and honours the memory of victims of repression who were killed, imprisoned, and forced into exile.

The 16 December plenary session of the European Parliament will be dedicated to the delivery of this year’s Sakharov Prize.

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