Meeteng with assisntante of Chaka Fatah - 1

Сегодня группа молодых политических активистов провела встречу, в виде видео-конфереции, с помошником конгрессмена от второго дистрикта Филадельфии mr. Jared’ом. На встрече освещалась общая информация о беларуси и диктаторском режиме президента Лукашенко А.Г. Молодые оппозиционеры пытались привлеч к проблеме Беларуси еще одного демократического деятеля США, а именно конгрессмена от демократической партии mr. Chaka Fattah и сделали это довольно успешно. Стоит отметить внимание и озабоченность, которую проявил mr. Jared. Ниже мы приводим вам приблизительный текст доклада, который был произнесен на встрече.

 

Video-conference with assistant of foreign affairs of the congressmen Chaka Fattah

Hello Mr. Jared. We are glad to be with you today and raise our voice for our people. And first of all we would like to thank you for your time and consideration. We appreciate that you found opportunity to talk to us in spite of your busy schedule.

We are group of young people from Eastern Europe from Belarus, members of Belarusian-American Youth Association in Philadelphia. The most important mission of our organization is contact with Congressmen, representatives of US Government and bringing them awareness about political situation in Belarus. Under the 15-year-long authoritarian rule of Alexander Lukashenko, our current president, Belarus has been referred to as “the last dictatorship in Europe”. Most of us when we were students at the universities in Belarus were subjected to moral or physical tortures by Lukashenko’s regime. We were followed and prosecuted because of our political point of view different from our Government. We were protesting against human rights violations and we were severely punished for being active. It influenced on our scores at the university reaching up to expulsion from it. Personally for me it is hard to remember the scenes of torture, interrogations, severe beatings and daily harassment through which I had to pass in my life.

Now we live in Philadelphia in the 2nd congressional district. We had to leave our country because of political motives. We miss our families but we feel safe in the US where human rights really exist and they are respected. And we still want to support our nation in their struggle for democracy in Belarus.

As we know our Congressmen Mr. Chaka Fattah is a member of Democratic Party and we are sure he will support us in our aspiration for democracy in Belarus. Last election of Alexander Lukashenko in December 2010 was the worst antidemocratical act which Europe witnessed in more than a decade. Over 600 peaceful demonstrators, including 5 opposition presidential candidates were beaten and arrested.

Human rights are those basic standards that without people cannot live in dignity. Belarus is the country where Human Rights are disrespected and disregarded.  Why can we call the regime of Alexander Lukahenko repressive and for what Belarusian people have to struggle every day putting their lives and lives of their relatives at risk?

Human rights defenders, civil society activists, and independent journalists are routinely persecuted for expressing any signs of discontent with the authorities. Hundreds of pro-democracy participants have been punished with the administrative or criminal sanctions. The authorities enforce new laws further restricting freedoms of associations and assembly.

Belarus is Internet-restricting country. A.Lukashenko transformed the Internet into a tool of censorship and surveillance. The US policy is to promote  in repressive regimes the free flow of information without interference or discrimination. State media are subordinate to the President. Harassment and censorship of independent media are routine.   Independent media is virtually non-existent with the exception of small number of online outlets. Nowadays we have only 2 independent newspapers “Nasha Niva” and “Narodnaya Volia” which have been under threat of closing down many times. Journalists in Belarus have to work under the restriction on freedom of expression.

There is no freedom of association and assembly in Belarus. Human rights groups and opposition organizations face the impossibility to obtain registration and then criminal persecution of unregistered organization according to the Criminal Code in December 2005. Peaceful legal demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the disappearance of leading figures Viktor Hanchar and Yury Zakharenko, held on the 16th day of every month are regularly dispersed using force. Viktor Hanchar and Yury Zakharenko, as well as businessmen Anatoly Krasouski and journalist Dmitry Zavadsky, were subjected to enforced disappearances in 1999 and 2000. On 17 September, the Presidency of the European Union expressed concern about the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in Minsk and urged the Belarusian authorities to refrain from excessive use of force in dealing in dealing with peaceful demonstrations.

Belarus is the last country in Europe and former Soviet Union that is still carrying out death penalty. Amnesty International, Human Rights Center “Spring 96” in Belarus, Belarusian Helsinki Committee and other human rights defenders in Belarus oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception. Repressive regime of A. Lukashenko violates international laws and standards while carrying out death penalty. They use torture or ill-treatments to extract “confession”. There is no access to effective appeal mechanisms, no official statistics for the number of executions, no information about the date of execution neither for the  prisoner nor for their relatives, no information about the burial site for relatives. Everything is kept in secrecy.

On November 2011 Ales Bialiatski, an outstanding human rights defender and one of the founders and prominent leaders  of independent civil society in Belarus and Vice-President of International Federation for Human rights was unjustly convicted to four and a half years’ imprisonment. We would like to add our voice to those of countless Belarusans and Belarusan-Americans calling for the immediate and unconditional release of him and all political prisoners in Belarus.

Today we would like to bring awareness of political situation in Belarus to our congressmen Mr. Chaka Fattah. We are sure that the United States must continue efforts to promote democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Belarus. Our joint statements, joint demands, joint insistence on respect for human rights leads us to our goal. We would like to encourage US government to look to additional ways to hold Lukashenko to account.  The US has responded to the Electoral fraud, violence and repression with strong condemnations, including from the President Obama, and some additional punitive measures. And we are sure they will require continued and even strengthened economic and travel sanctions against the dictatorship and its senior-leaders and security forces.

We should be persistent and patient in order to restore democratical system of Belarus, including civil and human rights to free assembly, free and fair elections, independent judiciary system and the rule of law.

We would like to thank the US government for the efforts which have already been done by signing into law The Belarus Democracy Act of 2004 and 2006, The Belarus Democracy and Human Rights of 2011. That promotes democracy and supports the Belarusian people in their struggle to replace the Lukashenko dictatorship with a representative government that will respect human rights and democratic values. But Congress’s efforts on behalf of the Belarusian people can not end there – We would like to ask our congressmen Mr. Chaka Fattah to continue to raise Belarusian human rights issues with the administration, with foreign parliamentarians, and, whenever we encounter them, with officials of the Lukashenka dictatorship.

At the end we would like to ask for supportive letter or affidavit from our Congressmen Mr. Chaka Fattah. In this case our mission as Belarusian-American Youth Association will have more credibility when we will go talk to others to gain their support, their attention as well. As we know the more information people will get about antidemocratical Lukashenko’s regime, the more pressure will be put on it from US government.

Thank you very much again for your time and consideration again Mr.Jared. We really appreciate that you found time for us today!

Meeteng with assisntante of Chaka Fatah - 2

Meeteng with assisntante of Chaka Fatah - 1

Meeteng with assisntante of Chaka Fatah - 3