Réseau Syndical International de Solidarité et de Luttes


samedi, 19 septembre 2020

 
 

 

After 26 years of dictatorship, support the people of Belarus !

Accueil > International (Engl) > Europe > After 26 years of dictatorship, support the (...)

After 26 years of dictatorship and an umpteenth electoral masquerade on Sunday 9 August 2020, the Belarusian people took to the streets on the evening of the results announcing the "re-election" of the dictator Alexander Lukashenko with 80% of the votes against 10% for his main opponent.

In this country of almost 10 million inhabitants all opposition has always been systematically repressed in violence. Human rights abuses are regularly reported by Amnesty International : journalists and opponents arrested, the death penalty still in force, corruption and the dictator’s clan’s favours. At the same time, the labour rights of the working class are continuously violated, as well as the silenced and hidden violence against women. Faced with the attempt to normalize and continue all this violence against the population, the people of Belarus have risen with determination to assert their most basic rights.

On election day, numerous falsifications and irregularities were observed throughout the country. On the evening of the results the Belarusian people did not accept to be scorned again. Tens of thousands of them took to the streets, defying the OMON and the authorities throughout the country. Demonstrations of an unprecedented scale, further destabilizing the veracity of the official version. Since Sunday 9 August, demonstrations have been daily and massive, the repression has been very strong : at least two demonstrators have been killed, more than 7000 arbitrary arrests have been counted, testimonies reporting rape, beatings and humiliation by the security forces have multiplied and the police have justified the use of firearms on the crowd.

Calls for a general strike have been made, many factories are now on strike and the movement seems to be spreading throughout the country. Thousands of workers in the main Belarusian factories have voted to go on strike, such as at the mining and industrial machinery factory BELAZ, the flagship of the country’s economy. Railway workers, hospital staff, IT and chemical workers have now stopped working. Ultimatums in many sectors of activity have been issued by employees demanding the resignation of the dictator and the release of political prisoners. Civil servants resigned.

More than ever we must show solidarity with the demonstrators in Belarus : In addition to the seizure of all the country’s resources by Dictator Lukashenko and his clan, Belarus has been undergoing a severe economic crisis for several months. In addition to denying the reality of the progress of the epidemic in the country, the dictator Lukashenko advised his people to drink vodka to protect themselves from the virus, further inflating the Belarusians’ mistrust of the ruling power.

The member organisations of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle support the ongoing general strike and the popular demonstrations demanding the departure of Alexander Lukashenko and respect for human rights in Belarus. We strongly condemn the brutal repression of a regime that has only this argument to keep itself in power and demand the release of all political prisoners in prison.