Status: 26.03.2021 5:36 p.m.
In Belarus, the ruler Lukashenko continues to use massive violence to oppose any protest. The federal government wants to oppose this, but leaves it at appeals to the authorities.
From Silvia Stöber,
The “Freedom Day” is traditionally a day of protest for the opposition in Belarus: the Belarusian Republic was proclaimed on March 25, 1918, before it was captured by the Red Army a few months later. Hundreds of people insisted on demonstrating against ruler Alexander Lukashenko this year as well.
But as in the past weeks and months, they only marched in small groups through courtyards and streets or showed their protest with clothing or objects in the colors white and red, the symbol of resistance. This alone was enough for the police and special forces to take more than 200 people into custody.
After the controversial presidential election in August 2020, Belarus experienced a nationwide wave of protests for weeks. It is true that the state authorities could not break the will to resist. But the brutality, the many arrests and the pressure to leave the country weakened the leadership of the protest movement and the population alike.
Call for further sanctions
In order to force Lukashenko to negotiate new elections and to end the violence against his own people, opposition members such as Sviatlana Tsikhanouvskaya are persistently calling on the EU and the US to impose further sanctions.
Last November, the EU decided on sanctions against Lukashenko, his son Viktor and 13 people from the inner leadership circle. They were banned from entering the country and blocked accounts. But this did not impress the dictatorial president.
Appeals to the Belarusian authorities
At the beginning of February, members of the Bundestag from the Bündnis90 / Die Grünen parliamentary group sent the federal government a small inquiry with an extensive list of questions on how to deal with Belarus. The answers of the federal government of March 17, the tagesschau.de are not very specific with regard to the pressure on the Lukashenko regime.
The federal government names the immediate cessation of state violence and repression, the immediate and unconditional release of those imprisoned for political reasons and a dialogue between the leadership in Minsk, which “explicitly includes the possibility of the resulting free and fair elections”.
In order to achieve these goals, however, the Federal Government only cites the “regular high-level address in a bilateral and multilateral framework vis-à-vis the Belarusian authorities, such as in the Permanent Council of the OSCE” as an example. Also with regard to the “excessive use of force by Belarusian security authorities”, the federal government has left it with harsh condemnations and emphatic demands to the authorities of the country. Should the situation deteriorate further, the Federal Government reserves the right to take further measures in accordance with the answer, also in coordination with the other EU states: “This also includes the expansion of existing, targeted sanctions.”
Greens are calling for sanctions against regime-affiliated companies
The Bundestag member Manuel Sarrazin calls for the pressure on Lukashenko to be increased as a matter of urgency. “We need more effective measures such as sanctions against regime-affiliated Belarusian companies, which are the backbone of Lukashenka’s dictatorship,” says the Green politician. The federal government should advocate such measures at the EU level and vis-à-vis the US government.
In addition to house searches and arbitrary arrests, politically motivated judgments are made against innocents almost every day, and journalists and human rights activists are locked away for an indefinite period, according to Sarrazin. “Too many people have been murdered by the regime since August last year, over 30,000 arrested, thousands tortured and ill-treated.” Nevertheless, the people’s “will for a democratic and free Belarus” is unbroken. The “Day of Freedom” showed that.
Back on the road !? Violence against protesters in Belarus
Karla Engelhard, ARD Moscow, 27.3.2021 · 06:38