Aleksandr Klaskouski during the presidential election protest in Minsk 2010

I appeal to the international democratic community to help stop the tyranny and arbitrariness in the heart of Europe. Because without a free Belarus, there is no free Europe, Volha Klaskouskaya (independent journalist) writes.

After over 17 years of Lukashenka’s rule in Belarus, the scale of repression has reached a critical point. Nobody, not even the supporters of the authorities, did expect such hard pressure on civil society in Belarus after the presidential elections on Dec. 19, 2010. Former candidates for the presidency, journalists and human rights activists were arrested and were under criminal prosecution.

Among the new political prisoners – is my brother Alexander Klaskouski. There are four charges against him under three articles of the Penal Code. It’s possible that Alexander will spend more than 15 years in prison, all because he was the only police man who stood up for the people during the protests on the square the 19th of december. He has three small children, waiting for him to come home.

So many broken lifes and tragedies that the belarusian people has suffered from in those 17 years of dictatorial terror – and all because of one person! A former collective farm chairman and a great admirer of Hitler and Stalin, suddenly imagined himself as the leader of a European country.

During the last 6 years, I lived outside Belarus. After forced emigration I returned to Minsk, 3 weeks ago. It’s painful to see that during this time practically nothing has changed in my Motherland. Moreover, half of my close friends are in prison, and among all independent journalists there is no one who hasn’t been forced to visit KGB. The state’s repressive machine doesn’t stop. The arrests of political activists, detention of independent journalists, the judging of the participants of a peaceful protest against falsified election results, are continuing. Many activists have already received serious prison terms…

It is now extremely important that the European and world community reacts to the maximum level when it comes to the dictatorial regime of Belarus. Solidarity of the international community should not be limited only by words. I believe that the only effective mechanism of influence on the Belarusian dictatorship is economical sanctions. Also, Lukashenko shall not be allowed to host the World Championship in hockey, 2014 in Belarus  - as long as the regime will not release all political prisoners!

I appeal to the international democratic community to help stop the tyranny and arbitrariness in the heart of Europe – Belarus. Because without a free Belarus, there is no free Europe! We really do believe in European solidarity and European values. We, more than ever, need your solidarity, support, and decisive action.

Volha Klaskouskaya,
Belarusian independent journalist, sister of political prisoner A.Klaskouski.

*NOTICE: Volha Klaskouskaya was arrested and beaten badly the night after writing this article. She is now released but is being harassed by the police. Please help spread this in media/social media and speak out about the crimes against human rights and freedom of speech in Belarus (2011-05-05).