Minsk, July 24. The delegates of the Sixth World Congress of Belarusians, held in Minsk on 23-24 July under the auspices of an international public organization the World Association of Belarusians “Baćkaŭščyna,” called on the Belarusian authorities to release political prisoners. The delegates issued a statement An act of good will.
The document sparked protests from delegates from the area of the Ukraine, who argued that the matter of political prisoners is “domestic policy of Belarus”. The topic provoked heated discussion, however, only eight people were in favor of removing it from the agenda.
Former Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich in addition to a release of all political prisoners requested for their total rehabilitation, however, his amendments were not included into the final text.
The statement said that the citizens care about the future of their country, which is a phenomenon that is worthy of honor and respect. “It is natural that not all people equally evaluate various actions of the government, especially those relating to issues of domestic and foreign policy, or the prospects of preserving the independence of the country,” – the document says.
The authors pointed out: “A strong government that trusts in its rule of law should seek a dialogue with its political opponents.”
“Unfortunately in Belarus there are people deprived of their freedom for political views that do not coincide with the official ideological line and they cannot take part in the dialogue”, – states the paper, adding that the international community has called these people political prisoners.
“Building a strong and independent Belarus is based on the unity of the nation, the understanding of all the values of democracy and sovereignty, – says the document. – The authority should unite people, show the righteousness and kindness to all citizens, regardless of political views. Cruelty does not coalesce, but destroys. ”
“We urge the Belarusian authorities to perform an act of good will expressed in the release of prisoners, detained because of their political views. We are confident that such a move by the authorities will be assessed positively by the people of Belarus and the international community “, – the authors conclude.