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Baltic states issue joint statement in solidarity with democratic Belarus

February 7 saw the Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania issuing a joint statement to mark the international Day of Solidarity with Belarus. Six months on from elections widely believed to be fraudulent, the regime of self-declared president Alexander Lukashenko continues to assault and oppress its own people. 

The ministers' statement is reproduced in full below.

The Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity with Belarus, express their support for the people of Belarus.

Since August, the people of Belarus have peacefully stood for freedom and democracy. Week after week and month after month, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been impressed by their courage and drive for fundamental rights and free and fair elections.

This courage has been met with brutality and lawlessness by the authorities of Belarus. The aim is clear: to stifle the voices of peaceful demonstrators, to deny their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and suppress their legitimate demand for free and fair elections.

The situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate. The violent crackdowns by the authorities of Belarus on peaceful protesters continue to this day.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reiterate their repeated requests to the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners and media workers, and hold perpetrators to account. They also call on the authorities to avoid further use of violence, engage in a genuine political dialogue with the people and ensure the holding of free and fair elections in line with international standards and under the OSCE / ODIHR’s observation.

Just as the people of Belarus do not tire of standing up for their basic human rights and resisting violence, the international community must maintain its focus on what is going on in Belarus, monitor the situation closely and take action.

Tonight public buildings in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be lighted up in the Belarusian national white-red-white colours, to show the solidarity with the people of Belarus.

#StandWithBelarus

President Egils Levits expressed similar sentiments, even adding a little bit of Belarusian.

Our colleagues at Latvian Television (where LSM's office is also located) made a highly visible show of support, too, which you can see below.

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