Baltic and Polish parliaments issue joint statement on Belarus repressions

The parliaments of the three Baltic states and Poland have become the latest to decry the brutal actions of Alexander Lukashenko's regime in Belarus following rigged Presidential elections.

A joint statement released by the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, and the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia was published in English on August 12 and is reproduced in full below.

The signatory on behalf of Latvia is Rihards Kols (National Alliance), Chairman of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee.

We, the Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia and the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia, received with deep regret the information about the repressions against civil society and the media before, during and after the presidential elections that took place on August 9 in Belarus.

The right of free election is a fundamental value of democracy, and freedom of speech and assembly are among the fundamental human rights. Therefore, we call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately end the use of force and persecution. The activities that we are observing do not fit within the democratic standards.

In solidarity with the international community, we jointly call on the Belarusian authorities to release all political prisoners as well as those illegitimately detained in recent days. We call for the initiation of a genuine social dialogue for the much expected changes that Belarusians find desirable and necessary.

We are convinced that following the path of dialogue and reforms will contribute to the development of Belarus, further deepening of good-neighborly relations between Belarus and the countries of our region, as well as the revival of fruitful relations with the European Union.

We are ready to support these efforts by seeking constructive solutions for our common future. Belarusians are a proud, prudent, responsible European society, whose courage and wisdom demonstrated in recent days inspire us to act together.

Aware of the challenges and difficulties facing Belarus today, as parliamentarians of neighboring countries, we consistently emphasize our readiness to support the well being of Belarusian society as well as sovereignty of the Belarusian state.

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