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Request to the Argentinean Chancellor Felipe Solá regarding Belarus
August 18, 2020
CADAL asked the Argentine Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Felipe Solá, to publicly condemn the state repression in Belarus against peaceful protesters, including arbitrary detentions, torture, and the death cases following police brutality. Additionally, CADAL has requested that the Argentine Republic joins the international democratic community in its demand to repeat the presidential elections in Belarus, allowing different intergovernmental organizations to monitor their transparency.

Argentine Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Felipe Solá

CADAL adressed Chancellor Solá expressing that, as they would have already noticed at his Ministry, Belarus’ state institutions informed that President Aleksandr Lukashenko had obtained more than 80% of the votes in the presidential election of last August 9. These official results have been questioned by the authorities from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, USA, Canada, Ukraine, and the European Parliament.

In this regard, since the very evening of Sunday, 9 August, there have been mass demonstrations in Minsk and other cities of the country, as well as a general strike joined by tens of thousands of state employees. Those demonstrations have been met with violent repression, resulting in at least 7,000 protesters being arrested and at least two being killed. The first victim, 34-year-old Aleksandr Taraikovski, died near Pushkin Square in Minsk. According to the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the man died when he threw a self-made explosive device at the police, however, numerous videos refute the official version of the events. 25-year-old Aleksandr Vijor died in Gomel, the second largest city of the country. He was in police custody and died after being beaten and left unattended in a van for hours. He did not receive any medical attention.

Besides, at least 200 people were injured, including dozens of local and foreign journalists. At least 55 journalists were arrested.

People who were eventually released from the detention centers testify to have been tortured or experienced other ill-treatment. They report that they have been stripped and naked, beaten, and threatened with all sorts of cruelties, including rape by police and guards. The screams of torture victims could be heard from outside the detention centers. Both witnesses and videos corroborate this.

United Nations Secretay General António Guterres appealed to local authorities for moderation in their response to the protests. Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees must be thoroughly investigated. Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, has expressed her concern about the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of people, including minors.

After the controversial elections, at least 200,000 people attended the largest political rally in the history of Belarus. They demanded fair and democratic elections, an end to repression, and freedom for political prisoners. It is time for them to be heard.

Finally, in the letter signed by Gabriel C. Salvia, General Director of CADAL, Felipe Solá was reminded that the Argentine Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship states on its website that "Values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, solidarity, multiculturalism, freedom of religion and gender equality, among others that are currently part of our reality, are reinforced and protected through the international activities of the Argentine Government ". Therefore, on behalf of CADAL, a private and non-partisan foundation whose mission is to promote human rights and international democratic solidarity, we would be grateful if the Argentine Republic responds to the current political situation in Belarus by acting in accordance with its own proclaimed foreign policy.