17th December 2020

Online Seminar via Zoom

Online Seminar via Zoom

Is time running out for democracy in Belarus?

Thursday 17 December 2020 | 5pm

Following a flawed election in August 2020, which was neither free nor fair, Belarusians have protested the denial of democracy. Thousands of protesters have been arrested. Detention is widespread. Hundreds have been subjected to torture and other prohibited ill treatment. Police use of force is routine. Ten protesters have been killed. The authorities act with impunity.

The pioneers of democracy in Belarus are either in prison or forced into exile. The acknowledged leader of the democratic Belarus movement, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, continues to call for free and fair elections and to galvanise democracies across the globe in support of democracy in Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko, the last dictator in Europe, reasserts his grip on power.

After four months of protests, what options are there for democracy in Belarus?

This webinar will bring together the key international actors and we will grapple with the issues facing democratic Belarus.

How do we make sanctions meaningful? Will there be accountability for the serious human rights violations taking place in Belarus? Is the potential of the Council of Europe as a broker for peace being overlooked? What can the OSCE achieve? Can Russia’s influence be used to support democracy in Belarus? Can the UN system hold Belarus to account? Will the EU be able to insist that Belarus complies with democratic values? Is there a role for the UK?

All these questions and more will be discussed in depth. There will be plenty of opportunities for questions from all those attending.

Chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, the speakers are:

  • Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s Advisor on International Relations, Valery Kavaleuski

  • EU Special Representative on Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore

  • Chair of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Boriss Cilevics

  • Council of Europe, Tatiana Termacic

  • OSCE Moscow Mechanism Rapporteur, Wolfgang Benedek

  • UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, Anaïs Marin

  • Professor of International Human Rights Law, Liverpool University, Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou

  • UK Ambassador to Minsk, Jacky Perkins

  • Belarus Free Theatre, Natalia Koliada

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