Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a statement condemning the regime of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko on the anniversary of the death of Raman Bandarenka, an opposition protester.
Sunday marks the third anniversary of the death of Bandarenka, one of the victims of the brutal repression unleashed by the regime in Minsk against its own society after the rigged presidential elections in August 2020.
A 31-year-old artist and resident of Belarus’ capital Minsk died in hospital on the evening of November 12 after reportedly being beaten by Belarusian security forces.
“The murder of this innocent young man and the impunity of his assailants is the symbol of the current Belarusian authorities’ attitude towards their own nation and its aspirations to live with dignity in a free state,” MFA wrote in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.
November 12 has become one of many tragic days in the recent history of our close neighbours, when we draw special attention to the drama unfolding in Belarus, to thousands of innocent detainees and hundreds of thousands seeking refuge from repression abroad, the statement read.
The ministry said that the repressions in Belarus are “systemic and widespread”, that they affect a significant part of Belarusian society and are also very severely applied to the large Polish minority, depriving them of the right to freely learn the Polish language, preserve their culture and cultivate historical memory.
“We invariably expect the authorities in Minsk to release all political prisoners and establish open dialogue with the public to enable democratic transformation that would meet the aspirations of the people of Belarus and lay the foundation for preserving an independent state,” the statement said.
“We express our deep respect for democratic attitudes and wishes of the vast majority of Belarusian society, as well as the country’s independent cultural figures, journalists, and politicians. We hear and understand independent circles in Belarus as they express Belarusians’ sense of belonging to the European historical legacy and the desire to strengthen close bonds with Europe,” it added.