Joint Statement by the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the Board of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum ahead of the Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, 27-28 August 2020

We are dismayed at the continued violation of the fundamental rights of the Belarusian people in the wake of the undemocratic presidential election on 9 August 2020. We urge the international community to push for upholding international standards and use all available mechanisms in order to:

— guarantee the right of the people of Belarus to assemble peacefully and express their views freely, and their right to free and fair elections;

— put an end to the excessive use of force and torture against peaceful protesters in Belarus, and punish the perpetrators;

— secure the release of illegally detained Belarusian protesters and political prisoners, and conduct a fair, public investigation into the criminal and administrative cases initiated in an attempt to defame and discredit the opposition.

Full text of the statement: