Last night, over 110 cities across Europe and worldwide, from Oslo to Istanbul, from Lisbon to Vilnius as well as in Dubai, Mexico, Pretoria and New York took to the streets against Lukashenko's unjust Belarus dictatorship, demanding a European Foreign Policy.
Belarus Action Napoli IT Napoli, Italy
Activists across the continent gagged statues, symbolically preventing them from speaking freely, much like the current situation for many Belarusian citizens and leaders of democracy and oppositions movements.
Belarus Action Odense DK Odense, Denmark
Action Co-ordinator Toni Giugliano said:
"European youth will never give up fighting for a dictatorship free Europe. Our partners joining us in the action have trebled and our cities have reached a new record."
"We will demonstrate each year until the last European dictatorship falls and until the EU addresses the human rights violations in Belarus."
"It is absolutely appalling that the EU has suspended Lukashenko's travel ban. We will get nowhere unless the EU tightens sanctions against Belarus in return for respect for political opposition and minorities, human rights and freedom of the press."
"The fact that a dictatorship is still standing in the EU's back yard is proof that Europe's dysfunctional foreign policy is not working."
Belarus Action Puebla MEXICO Puebla, Mexico
Mr. Vladislav Jandjuk, Speaker of the Belarusian Government in exile (Council of the Belarusian People's Republic) said:
"Today, on the occasion of the anniversary of the manipulated presidential elections, we need to show to the Lukashenko regime what western democratic values are: freedom and human rights."
"They are not just empty words, but grounds for a just and responsible organisation of society. Only those who respect the rights and freedoms of others can be respected themselves. Our demand is clear: free and just elections for Belarus!"
Belarus Action Turku FI
Samuele Pii, President of JEF Europe concluded:
"Over the coming months, JEF Europe will be engaged in raising awareness about the upcoming European elections and advocating change"
"Change is fundamental in Belarus but is also fundamental in Europe."
"Only with a common Foreign and Security Policy will the EU have the means to stand up to dictatorships and address the growing global problems that we are currently facing."