Unrest in Belarus after the presidential elections: Switzerland calls for respect for human rights

Bern, 11.08.2020 - After the presidential elections, the authorities in Belarus have responded to popular protests with force. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is deeply concerned about the tense situation and calls on the Belarusian authorities to exercise restraint and allow peaceful demonstrations.

The FDFA is closely monitoring the latest developments in Belarus, is concerned about reports of the excessive use of force by the security forces against demonstrators, and calls for calm. It calls on the Belarusian authorities to exercise restraint and permit peaceful demonstrations.

Freedom of assembly and association are internationally recognised human rights, which Belarus has also undertaken to uphold. The FDFA calls on Belarus to honour its international human rights obligations.

The FDFA also urges Belarus to release all demonstrators who are being detained by the security forces. It further calls on the Belarusian authorities not to restrict access to the internet and other means of communication.

The FDFA regrets that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) was not able to observe the elections held this year and that international media representatives were unable to carry out their work.

The FDFA explained its position to the Belarusian ambassador-designate. In addition, State Secretary Krystyna Marty Lang reiterated Switzerland's position in a phone conversation with the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs