„In Belarus there has been no frontal violence against citizens for many years. Therefore, the EU canceled its economic sanctions. Especially last two years the former Soviet republic began converge with Europe again and it seemed that rigid totalitarianism finally weakens. As soon as new mass protests appeared, the regime responded as usually: by brutal violence," says Martin Skalský, Head of Arnika – Center for Public Support.
There is a supportive letter to support imprisoned activists and other citizens. Tens of NGOs from the whole world joined to this supportive letter. Besides the release of unjustly convicted activists the letter requires to restore freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and stop the practice of arbitrary detention of citizens by different police units.
„We believe that solidarity NGOs from other countries helped a little imprisoned activists. It's however clear, that colleagues in Belarus will now have the difficult conditions of work and need support. Therefore Arnika launched an annual project to help local civic activists and use legal procedures for defending the people's rights to live in a clean environment. The project is financed by the Program of Transformation Cooperation Czech Foreign Ministry. We will focus especially on rural regions, where the situation is much worse than in cities," adds Skalský.