Open letter to OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde
Following the rigged presidential election in August 2020, recognised as neither free nor fair by the OSCE, Sweden became one of the countries that demonstrated support for the Belarusian democratic forces and have hosted a number of meetings with the Belarusian national leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition.
In January 2021 when Sweden chaired the OSCE, the wave of repression in Belarus hit a significant share of the Belarusian population. The shutdown of the independent media, prison sentences for political activists and journalists, the hijacking of the Ryanair plane, escalation of the migration crisis on Belarus-EU border – these are just some of the human rights violations of Belarusians. Despite these events the Swedish authorities are still meeting with the representative of the violent Belarusian regime. On December 2-3 in Stockholm Uladzimir Makei, the foreign minister of Belarus, is taking part in the meeting of the Ministerial Council of the OSCE.
At the same time, the national leader of Belarus Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is meeting high-level officials and the deputies of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. However, neither the president-elect nor her team members were invited to the OSCE’s meeting.
On behalf of the Belarusian diaspora in Sweden, we would like to point out that OSCE is an international platform for political dialogue promoting peace and democracy. However, excluding the democratic leader of Belarus and inviting a representative of the Lukashenko regime sends a worrying sign to Belarusians in Sweden and to all Belarusian democratic forces. The OSCE’s meeting that excludes Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is not supported by the Belarusian diaspora and has been interpreted as a one-sided negotiation on Belarus.
We, therefore, call on OSCE’s chairperson Ann Linde to:
Comment on why Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was not invited to represent Belarus at the meeting in Stockholm on 2-3 December;
Comment on the invitation of Uladzimir Makei to the OSCE’s meeting in Stockholm on 2-3 December.
If you are willing to support the listed above demands, sign the open letter as an individual or organization here.
Board of Sveriges Belarusier and People’s Embassy of Belarus in Sweden,
1 December 2021
Organisationen Sveriges Belarusier grundades den 24 oktober 2009.
I mer än 10 år har vi försökt förena belarusier som bor i Sverige, hjälpa belarusier i Belarus och sprida kunskap om Belarus i Sverige.
År 2019 lyckades vi framgångsrikt byta vårt lands namn på svenska
från Vitryssland till Belarus.
År 2020 har vår organisation öppnat filialer i hela Sverige: i Värmland, Norrland och Skåne. Antalet medlemmar i organisationen 2020 ökade från 18 till mer än 200.
Vi arbetar arbeta med bilden av Belarus i Sverige, knyter kontakter med svenska representanter för kultur, politik och media.