Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

EU youth organizations demand the abolition of visas for Belarusians

18-03-2013, 18:12
EU youth organizations demand the abolition of visas for Belarusians

The largest youth organization in Europe demanded from EU leaders to intensify the struggle against dictatorship in Belarus.

In a joint statement , adopted today, they say about violations of human rights in our country.

The document was signatured by Young European Federalists JEF-Europe, European Youth Forum, European Democrat Students EDS, European Liberal Youth LYMEC, Federation of Young European Greens FYEG, International Federation of Liberal Youth IFLRY, International Union of Socialist Youth IUSY, Youth of the European Peoples Party YEPP, Young European Socialists YES.

"The last presidential elections on 19th of December 2010 ended in mass detentions of protesters, with leaders of opposition being imprisoned, independent media cracked down, and Internet users reported by their service provider for visiting opposition websites Ever since coming to the power in 1994 the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka, has oppressed the freedom of his people and ignored their voices.

We decry Europes last dictatorship and want to show support for the suppressed Belarusian people lacking even basic human rights taken for granted by Europeans elsewhere today. In particular we want to show solidarity with the young people in Belarus and empower them to fight for their rights and make them aware that the European youth civil society is fully supportive of their cause"
, said in the statement.

Youth organization of Europe demanded abolishment of death penalty, respect of human rights, democratic elections and freedom of press, assembly and association and a clear attitude of the European Union towards Belarus.

"Deeply appalled by the on-going human rights violations in Belarus, we recall the historic achievement of the European integration project which brought peace and democracy to our continent. Thats why we call the EU and its Member States to strictly enforce sanctions such as travel and visa restrictions against high officials as well as restrictive measures like the freezing of assets, in order to increase the pressure on Lukashenka.

At the same time the EU should look for ways of supporting the young people in Belarus directly via democratic and youth-led organisations operating both within the country as well as in the diaspora. Making Belarus and cooperation in the field of youth and education a priority within the Eastern Partnership could be a way of giving a helping hand to those who need it, supporting democracy movements in Belarus while isolating the regime and putting ever more pressure on it. Young Belarusians should have the right to move freely around Europe to meet and exchange with their peers and enjoy equal opportunities of benefiting from European mobility programmes.

We invite all European youth to speak up for freedom and democracy in Belarus and we call European politicians and people all over the world to join us in a global call for freedom, democracy and respect of human rights in Belarus"
, said on the statement.