Wednesday 10/20/21

Nordic states say Belarus election did not meet democracy standards

In a joint statement, Finland and the other Nordic and Baltic countries demand the immediate release of the demonstrators "unfairly" detained.
10 August 2020, Ukraine, Kiev: Policemen arrest an activist for trying to throw eggs into the building of the embassy of Belarus during a rally in solidarity with the Belarusian opposition that accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of electoral fraud for receiving over 80 percent of the vote in the presidential election. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/dpa.
Ukranian policemen arrest an activist for trying to throw eggs into the building of the embassy of Belarus in Kiev. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/dpa.

Finland and the other Nordic and Baltic countries expressed their "grave concern" about developments in Belarus following Sunday's presidential election. And they demanded that the Minsk government release "immediately" the demonstrators "unfairly" detained.

In a joint statement, on Tuesday evening the Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden expressed their "grave concern about the violence against post-election demonstrations that have occurred in response to reports of widespread electoral fraud" in Belarus.

"We are very troubled by the reports of physical injuries inflicted on the demonstrators," the statement says.

According to the signatory countries, the presidential elections which took place in Belarus on 9th August 2020 "did not comply with the international commitments of Belarus and globally recognized standards of democracy and rule of law, and they were not free and fair."

"Stop political persecution"

The Nordic and Baltic governments "urge the Belarusian authorities to stop persecution of political opponents, to release all those unfairly detained immediately and to respect human rights and freedoms."

"We call upon the Belarusian government to immediately engage in a genuine political dialogue with the opposition in order to avoid further use of violence."

All signatory states reaffirm their "commitment to the people of Belarus" and say they will continue to closely follow developments.