Respect for human rights should be a priority in Belarus
On 9 August 2020 Belarus organised presidential elections, which the European Union have deemed “neither free nor fair”. Soon after the results were announced large protests started appearing in the country, mainly driven by the desire of the Belarusian people for social justice, fair elections and freedom of expression. Unfortunately, the protests were harshly repressed and 2 people were killed in the process as of now, with over 6000 injured or arrested as political prisoners. Furthermore, images broadcasted on state TV channels of young people being forced to confess crimes they might not have committed are appalling and shocking.
World YMCA expresses its serious concern over the unfolding situation in Belarus. As a global youth Movement who strongly believes in equality for all and in the respect for human rights, we call for the immediate release of political prisoners who protested peacefully and the full protection of all peaceful protesters. Freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are paramount and should be duly observed.
World YMCA prays and stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus. This is a very difficult moment for the Belarusian people and we express our strongest hope for a peaceful resolution of the current conflict.