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NHC calls for enhanced policy initiatives in favor of democracy in Belarus

14 September 2020

The NHC has written to the Dutch parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee asking for sustained and enhanced initiatives in support of the Belarusian democracy movement.

“The large scale, peaceful mobilization of the Belarusian people after the obviously fraudulent elections of 9 August is extremely impressive and merits maximum solidarity. Political prisoners should be released and violence against demonstrators should stop as a prerequisite for a process leading to new, fair and internationally observed elections,“ said Pepijn Gerrits, NHC Executive Director ahead of parliamentary debate on 14 September.

In its letter, the NHC calls for prioritizing diplomatic efforts by the OSCE to promote a national inclusive dialogue in Belarus, in follow-up of the offer of the OSCE leadership. The extensive expertise of the OSCE’s human rights and democracy office in constitutional reform and election processes should be employed to the maximum.

The NHC also poses a number of questions about international engagement with the Belarusian regime. Sanctions aimed at individuals directly responsible for severe human rights abuses are being considered by the European Union. This consideration should not be limited, the NHC argues, to the limited list that is being discussed at the moment. Economic sanctions should also be explored aimed at companies with direct links to leading figures in the regime. Multilateral economic and financials for a should also be used to raise the massive denial of human rights in Belarus.

Please find here the complete text of the NHC letter.