On 9 September, a member of the Board of the Coordination Council, a doctoral candidate of law, a lawyer, a poet, a musician, a sportsman, a man of brilliant mind and strong will Maksim Znak was detained.
On 18 September, he was charged under part 3 of Art. 361 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus: Calls for actions aimed at damaging the national security of the Republic of Belarus.
On the same day, Maksim Znak started a hunger strike to express his disagreement.
A hunger strike is the ultimate form of protesting. Politicians and public figures have to resort to hunger strike only in countries where the word and opinion of the citizens are ignored by the authorities.
We, the members of the Coordination Council, see Maksim Znak’s hunger strike as the ultimate means of drawing the broad public’s attention to the numerous violations of the constitutional rights of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus by the law enforcement agencies and vast politically-based prosecution of the citizens.
On behalf of the Coordination Council we demand the following:
- make professional medical assistance available for Maksim Znak immediately;
- release Maksim Znak from custody immediately;
- stop criminal prosecution of Maksim Znak.
We ask the global community to pay close attention to the hunger strike maintained by the member of the Coordination Council Maksim Znak for several days and put pressure on the legitimate representatives of the Belarusian authorities in order to provide medical assistance and immediately release Maksim Znak.
We support our colleague in his effort to restore respect for constitutional rights, yet we are concerned about Maksim Znak’s health and consider the hunger strike to be the ultimate way of getting results. We acknowledge that human life must remain the key value for any state, so we ask Maksim to stop his hunger strike.
We do not urge Maksim to stop the protest. But we call on him to save himself for the future!
Maksim, we need you and all the Belarusians need you to build a new, free, democratric Belarus!