November 9 – November 15, 2020
Society and political parties

Civil society and political emigration call for stopping the violence before starting any dialogue

The situation has not changed
Civil society and political emigration call for stopping the violence before starting any dialogue

By Zmicier Kuchlej

Former presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has declared her intention to form a People’s Tribunal. Political organizations solicit to end repression and violence and release all prisoners before starting negotiations.

Amid enhanced violence and repression by the authorities, Sviatlana Tsikhanaouskaya and the Coordination Council toughened their rhetoric. Tsikhanouskaya initiated the People’s Tribunal campaign, envisaging the collection of evidence of violence and repression (through “Report” system), people voting on collected evidence (“People’s Prosecution”) and mustering a major protest rally by the year-end.

Former political prisoner Yuri Voskresensky is trying to give the appearance of a dialogue with ‘constructive opposition’ to discuss constitutional reforms. Voskresensky has registered “the Round Table of Democratic Forces” with the residence in once Babaryka’s electoral HQs. Naturally, the initiative was not supported by the political organizations, rather strongly criticized by Lukashenka’s opponents.

Facing a threat of liquidation, Some registered political parties are dealing with bureaucratic barriers put forward by the Justice Ministry. The Belarusian Green Party has challenged the Justice Ministry’s official notice at the Supreme Court. Simultaneously, some parties continue to criticize the actions of the security forces and condemn violence, for example, former communists from the Fair World party.

“Tell The Truth” hosted the New People’s Forum on Self-Organization and Self-Government last week. They brought together civic activists, community activists from Minsk and regions, Belarusian and international experts.

Christian communities last week adopted a joint statement condemning the violence, demanding the release of political prisoners and new elections. Priests of various confessions have publicly expressed their views and supported the demands of the protesters in the post-election aftermath.

The authorities’ attempts to hack local communities’ chats in Telegram channels have limited effects. In response, activists enhance safety rules and create new chats.

Employees of public enterprises continue to withdraw from state trade unions, some join independent trade unions. Albeit only a few workers have joined the national strike, they have done so publicly and in many regions of Belarus. In response, the security forces are trying to block financial support for the members of the strike committee.

Despite some difficulties with providing financial support for the repressed due to the blocking of recipient accounts in Belarus, solidarity foundations find other mechanisms to deliver funds to those in need. Political emigration, civil society and citizens inside Belarus continue to support victims of repression, the solidarity campaign and make donations to fundraisers.

Mounting repression has galvanised Belarusian society and prompted political organisations to set aside their differences and unify their positions to put pressure on the current leadership.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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