Andrei Sannikov: Dictatorship cannot be legitimized
The leader of the European Belarus proposed his plan of liberation of the political prisoners.
On April 8, Aliaksandar Milinkevich, Uladzimir Niakliaeu and Aliaksiei Yanukievich submitted an appeal to the European Union. In this regard, leader of the civil campaign European Belarus, presidential candidate during the 2010 elections and former political prisoner Andrei Sannikov made a public statement:
"The leaders of the three organizations – the Belarusian People’s Front, Tell the Truth! and For Freedom – called their appeal "More Europe for Belarus", but as a matter of fact it should be read as "We Want Legitimized Dictatorship". This is the purpose behind all these wordings. It is obvious that Europe is trying to revive the dialog with the dictator, a scenario that has been tried and failed so many times. Some European politicians and officials of the European Union are "very tired" of defending their own principles of freedom, democracy and human rights in Belarus. The Belarusian political prisoners are nothing more than an annoying barrier on the way to the revival of previous relationship. This relationship was centered around the verbal critique of human rights violations and on growth of Belarusian business under the dictatorship’s control. It all unavoidably led to strengthening of the dictatorship and intensification of repressions."
Andrei Sannikov is convinced that after the elections of 2010, the Belarusian dictatorship crossed a new line and openly destroyed the entire opposition and civil society.
"If Europe changes the way it treats Lukashenka, the dictatorship will achieve its goal in no time. O course, we should thank the European Union for keeping its firm position in 2011 and the early 2012. It helped save the lives of those who were thrown behind the bars for their ideas. Even harsh words, not to mention the individual sanctions, have helped us survive in prisons and reformatories. However, we haven’t heard such words for a while, neither from the European Union, nor from countries. On the contrary, the number of envoys who try to convince us that soon all political prisoners will be released is growing. But nothing happens. Or, to be more precise, what is happening is a tremendous pressure on our friends, forced pardon appeals, psychological and physical destruction. The powers toy with the lists of political prisoners, and Belarusian human rights organizations have recently joined these games. It seems that the dictator is succeeding in human trafficking," the leader of the European Belarus said.
The political prisoners are still behind the bars, while the contacts with the dictatorship are being activated, Sannikov emphasized.
"The statement of the three politicians has been written in accordance with every rule of this type of papers: first define a precise purpose, then do whatever you want. You can make demands, argue with the goal itself, discuss the nation’s interests, democracy’s high principles, but the only thing left is the message that will acquit the abandoned positions. The statement’s purpose is precise: a full-scale dialog and cooperation with the dictatorship. And the carrot here is the topics already popular in Europe: visas, students’ education, near-border travel and so on and so forth," the politician said.
The leader of the European Belarus pointed out that the time when the appeal was submitted is not occasional:
"A strategic session on Belarus will be held tomorrow in Brussels. Some officials of the European Union have already prepared the decision to resume the dialog with the dictator. A "voice of the society" from Belarus was needed, and we have got one here: the appeal of the three politicians to resume a "full-scale dialog" with the dictator. Let me say at once, that neither the European Belarus, nor our allies have been invited to this meeting, and everything has been done to keep us away from it."
Since the European Belarus will not be present during the discussion of the strategic decisions, Andrei Sannikov made a "counter-proposal" to the European Union:
"You could demand that all 13 political prisoners are immediately released, and until they are released, you could cease all contacts with the dictatorship, stop the trade of petroleum products and import of potassium fertilizers, freeze bank accounts, reject the dictatorship’s envoys and don’t send yours. Trust me, it’ll work if you really want to help free the political prisoners."