Position of the Catalan National Assembly Concerning Belarus

The International Committee of the Catalan National Assembly considers that Catalan civil society should reflect on the events in Belarus in terms of the experience gained.

First , the Belarusian case very clearly highlights the power of mobilization. Belarusians have taken to the streets and, no matter how much the army and police are cracking down on protesters, they continue to mobilize over and over again.

Second, we call on the government of Belarus to respect the will of the people by conducting free and fair elections, and to release all political prisoners. In the same vein, we condemn the repressive actions of the Belarusian law enforcement and military units, including the use of violence against peaceful protesters and the detention of activists, which has already resulted in at least 4 deaths, hundreds injured, and more than 7.000 detainees.

Third, we welcome the EU’s commitment to democratic values, human rights, and fundamental freedoms in Belarus, and remind them that we  miss this  commitment  with Catalonia, when in fact it should be even stronger. Both the EU and Member State authorities have a legal obligation to uphold the rule of law, democratic principles, and the protection of minorities throughout the EU, Catalonia included, obviously. Far from  that, the European Diplomacy Chief, Commissioner Josep Borrell speaks out vehemently against police violence, political and judicial persecution, and the existence of political prisoners in Belarus, while the same policies seem alright  for him when applied in his birthplace.

Last, as democrats and defenders of universal human rights, we support the peaceful Belarusian movement in favour of democracy and human rights, and the Belarusian community in exile in Catalonia. Our steadfast position in favour of peaceful democratic movements around the world consolidates the credentials of Catalonia as a reliable international actor.

For these reasons, the Catalan National Assembly  believes that the Catalan Government should also express its explicit support for the Belarusian democratic movement as soon as possible.